Bahrain to IPO three logistics-linked companies in two years, minister says
The smallest Arabian Gulf economy intends to list at least 20% stakes of the companies on the Bahrain Bourse
Bahrain intends to sell stakes in at least three companies in the next two years on its stock exchange as the smallest Arabian Gulf economy seeks to boost government revenue, the country’s transportation and telecommunications minister said on Sunday.
The Gulf state wants to sell at least 20 per cent in Bahrain Airport Services, the operator of Bahrain International Airport, Bahrain Duty Free and the $1.1 billion new airport terminal, Kamal bin Ahmed told CNBC Arabia.
“As the main shareholder in these companies, we hope the other shareholders agree and we float a small percentage of about 20 per cent of the companies on the Bahrain Bourse,” Mr bin Ahmed told the TV station.
This exercise will help increase competition, transparency and boost government revenue, he added.
Bahrain is seeking to revamp its economy and introduce a series of reforms after gaining a $10bn aid package from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in October that will help stabilise its finances and prevent a potential credit crunch.
Following the agreement, Bahrain issued a 33-page financial programme aimed at eliminating its budget deficit by 2022, reducing public spending overseen by six task forces, introducing a voluntary retirement scheme for government employees, improving efficiency in state expenditure and streamlining cash subsidies to its citizens.
Privatisation, introduction of 5 per cent VAT next year and the implementation of new laws, including one for bankruptcy, are some of the latest reforms being undertaken by the Bahraini government.
The country's gross domestic product accelerated sharply in the second quarter of the year, helped by a rise in crude prices and an expansion of the non-oil private sector.
The kingdom’s real GDP growth, an inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all goods and services produced by an economy in a given year, rose to an annual 2.4 per cent from the previous quarter, Bahrain Economic Quarterly Report, produced by the Bahrain Economic Development Board said in October.
Updated: November 18, 2018 01:09 PM