Bahrain Bourse is planning to turn an already good performance into a great one in 2022 with a series of changes led by a plan to be listed.
Reuters reported that Bahrain plans to list Bahrain Bourse in 2022, citing a recent report by Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV, which quoted the stock exchange chief executive Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
The country also aims to reduce government ownership in publicly trading companies, Al Khalifa added without providing further details.
The Bahrain stock exchange also intends to list five more companies next year, Sky News Arabia reported on December 4, adding that Bahrain Airport Services Company will be among the new listings on Bahrain Bourse.
The country aims to list more governmental companies to encourage the private sector to follow the lead. The bourse is implementing a 4-year strategy ending in 2026, to develop the financial market sector by listing more companies, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, Al Arabiya reported.
Bahrain Bourse has also reached an agreement with Abu Dhabi to facilitate direct trading between the two markets.
“BHB continuously develops its services to create more job opportunities, attract investment and elevate the national economy,” Al Khalifa stated.
Bahrain Bourse performance
Bahrain-listed companies have seen a tripling of net profit during Q3 2021 when compared with the same period last year after nine out of 13 sectors in the kingdom’s stock exchange posted gains.
Research by Kuwait-based Kamco shows total Q3-2021 net profits for companies listed on Bahrain Bourse (BHB) increased by 212% year-on-year (yoy) to $702 million during the quarter.
The materials sector reported the largest profits on the bourse at $334 mn, compared to a loss of $30.8 mn during Q3 2020.
In the banking sector, Ahli United Bank (AUB) and Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG) posted robust Q3-2021 net profits pulling up the total net profits for the sector to $301.8 mn, a 58% overall increase.
AUB reported a Q3 2021 net profit of $152 mn as compared to $116 mn during Q3-2020.
The bank’s net profits improvement was driven by an increase in net interest income and a lower net provision charge for credit losses.
Moreover, profits in ABG improved 85% to $36.8 mn up from $19.9 mn in Q3-2020.
Profits for the telecom sector showed only marginal growth of 8.5% yoy reflecting 4.2% growth in profits for Zain Bahrain and 8.9% growth reported by Batelco.
The consumer services sector swung to a profit of $0.4 mn from a loss of $8.3 mn in Q3-2020.
In hospitality, Bahrain Family Leisure reported a smaller loss during Q3-2021 whereas Banader hotel reported a steeper loss of $1.85 mn versus a $1.7 mn loss in Q3-2020.
The GCC region as a whole showed aggregate net profits reaching a new record high of $55.5 billion during Q3-2021, an increase of 123.4% yoy and 22.7% quarter-on-quarter.
Smart investor program
Bahrain Bourse recently announced the kick-off of the fourth edition of the Smart Investor Program, aimed at elementary students as part of the curriculum for the academic year 2021-2022.
The Smart Investor program aims at equipping young students with basic concepts related to money management, savings, and smart financial planning through interactive edutainment activities in order to assist them in making sound financial decisions.
The bourse said the program’s workshops will be held in 70 schools. Educators and volunteers will target more than 5,000 students in grade 4 elementary level during the academic year, targeting both public and private institutions.