Manama, Nov. 3 (BNA): Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) will hold the 100th anniversary of the banking sector in the kingdom in December.
The banking sector has enjoyed the interest and support of HRH the Prime Minister, and thanks to that Bahrain has achieved remarkable strides in various sectors, including the economic and banking ones.
Indeed, HRH Premier’s support has boosted all the economic sectors, and motivated investors from all over the world to make the kingdom the centre for their regional operations.
HRH the Premier’s vision has also contributed significantly to attracting major international banks to the kingdom, due to his keenness to put in place the most important success requirements.
Since the mid-1970s, HRH the Prime Minister has taken innumerable decisions and issued sound directives that contributed to bringing about an unprecedented boom. When HRH Premier was in charge of the Bahrain Monetary Agency, he developed an integrated plan to support the banking sector, which stimulated investors to invest in the kingdom.
During His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s prosperous era, the Kingdom continued to attain more achievements and gains of which the people of Bahrain are proud, including those related to the banking sector.
The celebration marks the establishment of the first bank in Bahrain, Standard and Chartered (formerly the Oriental Bank Limited), 100 years ago, thus making Bahrain’s financial and banking sector among the oldest in the region and the world.
The banking sector contributes to the GDP with over 17%, achieving an annual growth of about 10%. With 14,093 individuals currently employed in the field, 66% of them are Bahrainis.
Bahrain hosts 382 financial institutions with total assets of $ 192 billion, including 98 banks, 21 of which are Islamic banks.