MANAMA: Bahrain Bourse (BHB) and Securities & Investment Company (SICO) signed an agreement to appoint SICO as an Authorized Sponsor in Bahrain Investment Market (BIM), an innovative equity market for growth companies in Bahrain and the wider MENA region.
The agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse, Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and the Chief Executive Officer of SICO, Mrs. Najla Al-Shirawi. The agreement with SICO has added one more key partner to the cornerstone of support that BIM offers businesses and enterprise investors looking to establish and grow their presence in the region. In addition to access to capital, listed companies will benefit from specialized advisory services in multiple sectors and the implementation of globally accepted standards for financial auditing and reporting statements as mandated by the BIM. Authorized Sponsors play an integral advisory role to all new clients in ensuring all pre-listing requirements and post-listing documentation and disclosures are continuously met.
“Bahrain Investment Market which offers new and innovative financing options and solutions, will drive private sector growth and support the developments in the Kingdom of Bahrain as well as the region to attract more foreign investments,” Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse, said.
“Our partnership with SICO, with its experience in the local and GCC markets, will support and enhance the value of the Bourse within an easy and efficient system,” Shaikh Khalifa added.
“The appointment of SICO as a specialized advisory bank operating within the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM) comes in line with the Bourse’s long-term partnership with Bahrain Bourse,” Mrs. Najla Al Shirawi, the Chief Executive Officer of SICO, said.
“This also assures the efforts made by SICO to enhance the investment environment by facilitating investments in promising commercial projects in a way that supports the business sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain in general and the country’s position as leading financial center in the region,” Mrs. Al Shirawi added.
It is relevant to note that in the last year Foreign Direct Investment in Bahrain doubled as the country secured a total of USD 281 million of foreign investment from 40 new companies. Bahrain Bourse has seen trading volumes increase by 42% between 2015 and 2016, reflecting the visibility of such market.
Headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and with a growing regional presence and international footprint, SICO is one of the premier wholesale banks in the GCC region. SICO provides a select range of investment banking solutions – brokerage, market making, treasury, asset management, corporate finance, and custody and fund administration – which are underpinned by an independent, value-added research capability.
Established in 1995, and listed on the Bahrain Bourse in 2003 as a closed company, SICO operates under a conventional wholesale banking licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain. The Bank has two wholly-owned subsidiaries: SICO Fund Services Company (SFS) – a specialised regional custody house; and SICO UAE – an Abu Dhabi-based brokerage firm licensed by the Emirates Securities & Commodities Agency. SICO has a long and successful track record in organizing, managing and arranging primary and secondary offerings on BHB.
It is worth mentioning that Bahrain Investment Market (BIM), which was officially launched in March 2017 by the Bahrain Bourse, features relaxed admission requirements and reduced financial disclosure rules, access to global investors, guidance services through authorized sponsors (specialized advisory firms), and many other benefits.