Bahrain’s stock market is to be turned into a closed shareholding company with an authorised capital of BD2m and a paid-up capital of BD2m have been completed, the country’s Minister of Finance said Monday.
The newly-named Bahrain Bourse will be wholly owned by the government and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Minister of Finance said in comments quoted by state-run Bahrain News Agency.
The move puts the exchange in-line with rival international stock exchanges, he said, leaving it well placed to “attract local and foreign investment”.
Bahrain Bourse now plans to increase its number of listed companies, boost share turnover and attract new investors, Sheikh Ahmed said.
CBB last month announced it would stop managing the bourse in order to focus on regulating its activity. Governor Al Maraj had previously said he was unhappy the bank was overseeing both roles and said the two should be separated.
The BSE has been plagued by low trading volumes, with hardly any company being traded on a daily basis.
Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) last month priced its initial public offering on BSE at the bottom of the proposed price range after it drew just enough buyers to cover the offering.
Analysts said the listing on BSE with its track record of being illiquid was one reason for the lukewarm reception by regional investors.
BSE was established in 1987, and is one of seven Gulf bourses.
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