BAHRAIN [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BAHRAINBahrain's real estate deals up 46% y/y in 2012.
The total value of real estate transactions in Bahrain in 2012 surged by 46% y/y to BHD 663.9mn (USD 553.3mn), the Survey and Land Registration Bureau said in a statement. Purchases by Bahraini citizens represented 84% of the total value of transactions in 2012, up from 80% in 2011, while the total value of their transactions increased by 54% y/y to BHD 559.7mn. Meanwhile, purchases by Gulf citizens represented 7% of total value of transaction in 2012, down from 13% in the previous year, with the total value of their transactions decreasing by 20% y/y to BHD 48.6mn. In contrast, purchases by foreigners increased to 8% of total real estate transactions in 2012 from 7% in 2011.
Bahrain's USD 92.8mn T-Bills oversubscribed by 286%.
The BHD 35mn (USD 92.8mn) issue of Bahrain's government treasury bills was oversubscribed by 286%, the central bank announced. The bills' issue date is January 16, 2012 and the maturity date is April 17, 2013. The weighted average rate of interest on the 91-day bills is 0.95% compared to 0.97% for the previous issue on January 9. The approximate average price for the issue was 99.761%, while the lowest accepted price was 99.755%.
Batelco shareholders approve acquisition of C&W's Monaco and Islands Division
The shareholders of Bahrian's telecom provider Batelco have approved the acquisition of a number of companies from Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) that comprise its Monaco and Islands Division, Gulf Daily News reported. Batelco will acquire the entire CWC interest in the Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia as well as a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monagesque de Communications SAM (CMC), which holds CWC's 55% interest in Monaco Telecom. Additionally, Batelco has an option to acquire the remaining 75% interest in Monaco Telecom. To finance the acquisition, Batelco's shareholders approved the issuance of up to USD 1bn in debt instruments subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
Bahrain's Gulf Air targets 24% cost reduction in 2013.
Gulf Air, the loss-making Bahraini flag-carrier, put in place a restructuring plan aimed at reducing costs by 24% in 2013, Arabian Business reported. The airline had to deal with the dual challenge of political unrest at home reducing number of visitors to Bahrain and a stiff competition from regional carriers such as Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. It responded by cutting 8 non-performing routes last year and focusing on Middle East and North African destinations.
Bahrain's investment banking assets under management up 72.4% y/y in Q3 2012.
Bahrain's investment banking assets under management grew by 72.4% y/y to USD 16.46bn in Q3 2012, El Wasat newspaper reported citing central bank data. Assets under management expanded following the reform of the investment banking industry which replaced the Investment Advisors licensing system with Investment Activities licensing system. The new system reclassified the financial services players into 3 categories based on their type of activity. As a result, the number of industry players grew from 22 to 50, thereby attracting new professional entrants eager to capitalise on financial surpluses of institutions and high net worth individuals from neighboring GCC countries.
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