It has been a financial centre and major trade route for 4,000 years. Its economic heritage dates back four millennia to when the Dilmun civilisation controlled the Persian Gulf.
The Gulf is renowned for document seals whose form and decoration indicate the active role they played in Dilmun society. Each Dilmun seal had its own intrinsic value and story. Some were used as charms, talismans and stamps on property. Some depict Gilgamesh, the oldest heroic figure in literature, who killed the 'Bull of Heaven'. The bull's head inspires the brand image of BFC Bank. Document seals from Dilmun were used extensively across the Middle East and North Africa. They provide evidence of long-distance commerce in copper and other goods by sea between ancient civilisations.
The economy of Bahrain has advanced continuously over the last 100 years. It was the first Gulf state to discover oil in 1932 and it benefitted from the wealth this created to become one of the dominant economic centres in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC).
Bahrain was the first Gulf state to move away from dependence on oil and since the 1980s has been the region's leading financial centre. Other sectors that have become important include manufacturing, logistics, communications, professional services and real estate.
Bahrain was one of the first bourses in the GCC to list instruments such as preferred shares, bonds, Islamic Sukuks and mutual funds.
Bahrain Stock Exchange has a market capitalisation of USD$19 billion with a wide range of listed securities and 400 diverse financial services companies made up of local, regional and international firms. Its modern-day banking system combines cutting-edge digital technology with age-old traditions which combine to make it one of the world's fastest growing banking and financial centres.
We make it easier for Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to understand banking fees and foreign exchange charges. SMEs may find it difficult to identify the precise nature and breakdown of charges. We take a different approach. We believe in complete transparency and disclosure of our fees.Read more >>