25/12/2018 07:39 AST

Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) has welcomed the decision of Moody's to change its outlook for the country to stable from negative, while maintaining its sovereign issuer rating at B2.

BAB is expecting that Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, big credit rating agencies, to take similar steps soon. BAB confirmed its keenness to support the CBB efforts chaired by Rasheed Al Maraj in order to identify international credit rating agencies and international institutions concerned with the overall financial and economic indicators which are recorded by the banking sector in particular and the Bahraini economy in general.

“All indicators confirm the beginning of the undoubtedly improvement of financial and economic conditions in the Kingdom of Bahrain with the low liquidity risk of the government, especially after the $10 billion Gulf aid package. This aid contributed to support the public budget, increase investor confidence, raise government revenues on the one hand and reduce their funding needs on the other,” said Adnan Yousif, CEO of BAB.

He added: “Moody’s outlook change for Bahrain also demonstrates the importance of the great economic reforms that the Honourable Government has been implementing in recent years, which came in positive results despite the difficult economic conditions experienced by the world and once again proves the political correctness of the fixed exchange rate of Bahraini dinar against the dollar.

“Today, we are more determined to make more efforts to introduce the Kingdom of Bahrain as a premier destination for foreign investment and to promote Bahrain's balanced economic policy, which focuses on diversifying the economy and encouraging the private sector.”

Dr Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of BAB, pointed out that this new outlook of Moody’s is a positive shift in the credit rating recorded for the first time to the kingdom. Bahrain was able to reverse the index and start to climb higher hoping to reach the levels of 2010 when the rating stabilized at grade (A).

Dr Al Qassim added: “Bahrain's fiscal and monetary policies have strengthened financial stability in the Kingdom and contributed to mitigating the negative effects of economic challenges, the positive impact of this rating on banks and financial institutions in Bahrain, enhance their liquidity and its ability to contribute to the economic growth of Bahrain by increasing its activity in the field of deposits and lending and financing major projects such as energy projects, infrastructure and others.

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