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Bahrain's banking sector bucks crisis

MANAMA: Bahrain's banking industry has not been affected by recent turmoil, officials said yesterday.

Bahrain Association of Banks chairman Abdul Karim Bucheery said that to date, the banks had not suffered any fallout.

He was speaking after a meeting was held yesterday by Central Bank of Bahrain Governor Rasheed Al Maraj with retail banking chief executive officers and general managers.

"As long as the current uncertainty does not last long, then I see no reason why Bahrain's reputation as a financial centre for the Middle East will be tarnished," said Mr Bucheery.

"We will be able to absorb any negative sentiment. So long as this crisis is dealt with and it does not last too long Bahrain can handle the situation with no long term damage to its reputation."

"Hopefully, the dialogue proposed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, with all parties will end this uncertainty.

"I would like to confirm that in the banking sector everything is under control and is working normally."

Bahrain banking sector expert Abdul Lafif Janahi said the trouble would have no effect because the economy was strong enough to deal with the situation. This is in addition of oil making up 75 per cent of gross domestic product and 90pc of revenue.

"With the currency pegged to the US dollar, the dinar would not be under pressure."

A spokesperson for sovereign wealth fund Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company said it was business as usual with everyone working normally, both at its headquarters and all the companies it owned.



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