GCC boasts $1tn fund industry

MANAMA. October 22. KAZINFORM The one-trillion-dollar GCC fund market offers rare opportunities to global investors and fund managers. The Gulf economies are on the rebound with a GDP growth forecast of over 4 percent in 2009, especially at a time when other economies are still facing difficulties due to the aftershocks of the economic meltdown, a senior government official said Wednesday; Kazinform refers to the Arab News.

"We have 2,700 registered funds in Bahrain, with over $10 billion assets under management [it] will continue to be one of the best places to invest in," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB), the official economic development agency of Bahrain.

The power shift toward the East, he said, has made the region one of the brightest spots for investors and fund managers. Talking about Bahrain's unmatchable position as an emerging hub for funds industry, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted salient features of investment climate in the country.

In Bahrain, he said, the central bank's continuous endeavour to develop the best regulatory framework supported by transparency will continue to serve as the main pillars of the economic sector's strength. "The regulations, transparency, competitive advantage for operational costs and readily available human resources are a few of the important factors behind the development of the economic sector of this country. In Bahrain, the companies don't require a local sponsor shareholder as they can own 100 percent of the company from the day one," Sheikh Mohammed told the opening session of a three-day Fund Forum; Kazinform cites the Arab News.

See www.arabnews.com for full version

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