Bahrain's central bank will "take its time" in issuing new banking licences given the financial crisis but denied it had put such issuances on hold altogether, a central bank spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
A local newspaper reported earlier that the bank would temporarily halt the issuance of eight new investment banking licences to local and international banks, citing global conditions.
"We're carefully reviewing the applications, we're taking our time, being very careful with granting new licensing in the current situation," the spokeswoman told newswire Reuters.
Bahraini newspaper Al Ayam quoted Ahmed Abdul Aziz Al Bassam, director for licensing and policies at the central bank, as saying that the applications were not rejected but put on hold for an unspecified period of time.
Al Bassam said the central bank would review the applications as soon as the economic and financial situation improves.
He did not indicate which banks are affected. (Reuters)
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