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Islamic banks lift Bahrain Bourse

The Bahrain All-Share Index gained 0.70% to hit 1,145.39 Thursday, halting a week-long declined. Islamic financial institutions Al Baraka Banking Group and Ithmaar Bank advanced 9.20% and 6.90%, respectively. Nass Corporation lost the most (off 0.69%). According to National Bank of Abu Dhabi's Chief Economist and Head of Research Dr. Giyas Gokkent, "assets of the consolidated Bahraini banking system were up +0.8% m-o-m in March to $200.4bn ( down 0.3% y-o-y) driven in large part by growth in wholesale banks." He added that "Bahrain's wholesale banking system clocked in two consecutive months of growth. In March, geographic classification data for wholesale banks indicate a rise in GCC liabilities and a concomitant rise in Western European assets and a significant portion are movements due to head office and affiliated bank activity. Year-to-date, the Bahrain Bourse added 0.15%.