MANAMA: With 100% foreign ownership and the launch of the Bahrain Investment Market, Bahrain Bourse has emerged as a global exchange.
“Bahrain Bourse continues to transform into a global exchange and the launch of Bahrain Investment Market has bolstered its stature as an emerging global exchange,” Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the CEO of Bahrain Bourse told the reporters during the post launch press conference on Sunday.
“Bahrain Investment Market is open to all companies in the GCC and wider MENA region in a wide array of sectors, so long as they meet the Market’s eligibility criteria will provide more flexibility for the companies especially the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs),” Shaikh Ebrahim, added.
Abdulkareem Bucheery, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bahrain Bourse, also addressed the Press conference and termed the launch of the new initiative a giant step forward in further development of Bahrain’s capital market. “The initiative will encourage the SMEs to tap into the primary market by enjoying a set of easy procedures embedded in the initiative,” the Chairman added.
Highlighting Tamkeen’s role in this new initiative, Dr Abdulla Bader Al-Sada, Acting Director, Marketing Communications, Senior Manager, Government Liaison said Tamkeen would support the SMEs by offering the payment of the partial sponsorship fee by Tamkeen.
“Tamkeen remains committed to the development of the SMEs in specific and other sectors in general and collaboration with Bahrain Bourse would bring many benefits for the development of the SMEs sector in Bahrain,” Dr Al-Sada, added.
Earlier, Bahrain Bourse (BHB) held an official bell-ringing ceremony today (March 26, 2017) at the Bourse premises to inaugurate the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM), an innovative equity market designed specifically to offer the region’s fast-growing companies an alternative cost-and time-effective means for raising capital.
An agreement was signed with Tamkeen to support businesses and enterprises cover the costs associated with listing and appointing a sponsor while the event featured BHB signing separate agreements with professional advisory firms KPMG in Bahrain and Keypoint to become authorized sponsors, who will be authorized service providers (sponsors), within the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM).
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MoIC) in Bahrain and the Minister-In-Charge of Bahrain Bourse Zayed Rashid Al-Zayani, Bahrain Bourse CEO Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Khalid Rumaihi, the CEO of EDB, Tamkeen Chief Executive Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Managing Partner of KPMG in Bahrain Jamal Fakhro, and Managing Director of Keypoint Wajdi Al-Jallad.
As per BIM rules, companies must appoint and retain a sponsor before and during the listing process. In return, the sponsor is responsible for providing companies the required support and guidance to fulfill the BIM admission and financial disclosure requirements.
“I am pleased to say that the Bahrain Investment Market is now officially open for business! Having two of the leading advisory firms coming on board as authorized sponsors and more expected to join soon, as well as Tamkeen’s new dedicated support programme, adds even more value to the BIM’s innovative world-class equity market ecosystem,” Bahrain Bourse CEO, said.
The Bourse CEO said that the BIM was developed to address two needs in the market simultaneously. The first is the financing gap faced by fast-growing companies who seek growth capital but are not yet at the level where they are able to meet the criteria of the Bahrain Bourse Mainboard. The second is the global investors increasing demand to invest in companies in the region, as indicated by the 42% increase in Bahrain Bourse trading volumes from 2015 to 2016.
Start-ups represent the largest and fastest-growing segment of the private sector. According to figures released by Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism earlier this year, the number of commercial registrations in Bahrain nearly tripled, from 9,000 in 2015 to nearly 27,000 in 2016. Therefore, initiatives such as the BIM will fill an important financing gap in the market.
“Tamkeen’s support for the Bahrain Investment Market comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across all stages of development and making the private sector the key driver of economic growth, a key element of which is supporting opportunities for growth and addressing any key challenges businesses can face at each stage of their lifecycle. Becoming a publicly listed company is considered one of the biggest steps towards further expansion and growth and opens up new doors for development and advancement. Listing is another source of financing enterprises which comes alongside Tamkeen’s Tamweel financing program provided through its partnering banks,” Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Tamkeen’s Chief Executive said.
In addition to access to capital, listed companies will benefit from the implementation of globally-accepted standards for financial auditing and reporting such as the IFRS and AAOIFI, as mandated by the BIM.
“KPMG has had a presence in the country for nearly 50 years, and we understand the needs and challenges that local enterprises face. We are looking forward to combining our local expertise with our global network and resources to provide companies wishing to be listed within the BIM with market-leading insights and tailored Advisory services,” Jamal Fakhro, Managing Partner of KPMG Bahrain, said.
“We believe that Bahrain Bourse has embarked on a strategic initiative that will result in a major positive change in the country’s economy and capital market. This is a first step towards a robust and well-regulated stock market platform that will aim to assist various sizes of companies from different economic sectors who are seeking expansion and growth. We, at Keypoint, are proud to participate as Authorized Sponsors and we pledge our commitment to play an effective role to support the vision of the Bahrain Bourse to make Bahrain Investment Market a successful initiative,” Wajdi Al-Jallad, Managing Director of Keypoint, said.