No bond in 2010; 3-4% GDP growth expected - Bahrain

Growth in coming years to be driven by household consumption, investments subdued.
No bond in 2010; 3-4% GDP growth expected - Bahrain
NO BONDS: Bahrain does not plan to issue sovereign bonds in the near future and its economy may grow by 3-4% this year. (Getty Images)
By Eman Goma
Tue 28 Sep 2010 10:44 PM

Bahrain does not plan to issue sovereign bonds any time soon and the Gulf Arab country's economy may grow by 3-4 percent this year, central bank governor Rasheed al Maraj said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after a Gulf central bankers meeting in Kuwait, Maraj said: "We do not have any plans (to issue bonds)."

Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat reopened Gulf Arab bond markets by issuing a five year $750 million bond in June after the market was hit by the European debt crisis, raising the prospect other issuers from the region could follow.

Maraj said the economy was expected to grow 3-4 percent this year.

The state run Economic Development Board said in July Bahrain's economy was expected to grow slightly more than 4 percent in 2010.

EDB's forecast was in line with the central bank's expectation then of about 4 percent economic growth this year, compared with 3.2 percent in 2009.

EDB also said that gross domestic product grew 5.2 percent during the first quarter year on year and 1.4 percent compared to the last quarter of 2009.

It said that growth over the coming years would be driven by household consumption, while investments would remain subdued as investors are still suffering from a regional property crash late in 2008.

Bahrain has established itself as an off shore financial hub for the oil wealth accumulated in particular in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and the financial industry accounts for around a quarter of its GDP. (Reuters)

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