Bahrain Bourse (BHB) continued its achievements on the legislative and technical level in 2016 with the aim of enhancing its competitiveness and attractiveness on the local, regional, and international level and boosting its capabilities to provide more investment options to both issuers of securities as well as investors in order to enhance opportunities available to all stakeholders and ensure protection of investor rights. Those objectives have been achieved despite the unstable factors that have affected the capital markets and GCC stock exchanges due to the volatility of oil prices.
On the legislative front, the Market Making Rules and Guidelines were approved in order to regulate the market making function in line with international standards. The Rules and Guidelines were implemented by approving the first market maker at BHB, paving the way for other companies to join.
In addition, the Guidelines on the Trading of Treasury Bills (T-Bills) at Bahrain Bourse were approved, resulting in the creation of a secondary T-Bills market for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
On the technical level, Bahrain Bourse also succeeded in transferring the paper share certificates of all listed companies to the electronic records and depositing them in the Bourse's Central Depository System leading to the upgrade of Bahrain Bourse’s CSD services rating by Thomas Murray from A-, CSD Flash Impact: “Stable”, to CSD Rating: AA-, Flash Impact: “Positive”.
Moreover, a new market was created for Mutual Funds and Real Estate Investment Trusts “REITs” which opened the door for a wider range of investors to benefit from the opportunities available in the Real Estate sector at minimal ticket sizes. The launch of the Treasury Bills Market marked a milestone for BHB which allowed investors to deal in both the primary and secondary markets of those instruments through Bahrain Bourse. In addition to the new markets and instruments, BHB’s new website was launched with an interactive interface to offer comprehensive solutions to BHB’s clientele base.
With regards to the listings, 2016 witnessed the listing of Eskan Bank Units of the Eskan Bank Realty Income. In addition, 4 Bond issues and 42 T-Bill issues were listed. A new brokerage company also joined the list of licensed brokers at BHB this year.
Bahrain Bourse’s efforts to spread investment awareness continued, in which various events and seminars were conducted to highlight trading and investment opportunities available at BHB.
Looking into Bahrain Bourse’s financial performance in 2016, BHB’s total revenue increased from BD2,843,480 to BD2,917,421 reporting an increase of 2.6%. Bahrain Bourse’s deficit decreased by 17% from BD1,092,897 in 2015 to BD847,595 in 2016. Shareholders’ equity also declined from BD8,061,178 as of 31st December 2015 to BD7,213,583 posting a decrease of 10.5% as a result of the deficit reported by BHB during 2016.
On behalf of myself and Bahrain Bourse’s Board of Directors and staff, I would like to express my thanks and sincere appreciation to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain and His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain for their guidance and continuous support to Bahrain Bourse, as well as their efforts to support the prosperity of the country in various areas.
I would also like to thank H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism for his support to the Bourse and its various initiatives and programs. I also thank the Chairman and Board Members of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), and H.E. the Governor of the CBB for their ongoing support to the Bourse.
I extend my appreciation to Bahrain Bourse’s Board Members for their efforts and valuable recommendations that highly contributed to the development of the Bourse. I also thank the Bourse’s executive management, directors, and staff for their hard work and commitment during the year, hoping that such efforts will continue to develop the bourse further.
Abdulkareem Ahmed Bucheery