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Bahrain Stock Exchange

The Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE), was established in 1987 by Amiri Decree No.(4) , and is fast emerging as one of the major exchanges in the region. The BSE operates as an autonomous institution supervised by an independent Board of Directors, chaired by the Minister of Commerce.

A. Foreign Ownership of Securities

Currently, foreigners can purchase, own or sell bonds, units of mutual funds, and warrants of domestic joint-stock companies. Foreigners who are resident in Bahrain for one year or more are entitled to purchase, own, and/or trade up to 24% of a domestic joint-stock company’s equities. However, an individual foreigner may not own more than 1% of a company’s issued capital. There are seven (7) companies that are 100% open to foreign investors; namely, the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), Investcorp, Bahrain International Bank (BIB), TAIB Bank , Faysal Islamic Bank Arab Insurance Group and Bahrain Middle East Bank .

Foreign security holders are legally entitled to enjoy all the benefits of the ownership of securities of domestic joint-stock companies. They have the right to vote their securities on all matters submitted for approval, and receive dividends and other distributions without being subject to any taxation .

B. Taxation & Withholding Tax

Bahrain continues to offer a tax-free environment, characterized by the total absence of corporate and personal taxation. There are no taxes imposed on the ownership and/or trade of securities, as well as on the income derived therefrom.

C. Practice Governing Trading and Settlement of Securities

Securities listed on the Exchange, with certain exceptions, must be traded on the floor through registered brokers. The specific standards of due care and diligence, which are needed in the execution of transactions and in the safeguarding of customers' funds and securities, are imposed under the terms of the BSE's laws and by-laws which are adhered to by the brokers and dealers.

D. Settlement of Sales and Purchases of Securities

Settlement and transfer of ownership of domestic joint stock securities is undertaken through the Exchange in accordance with simple and straight-forward procedures.

The sale and purchase of a security creates a binding contract on the part of the seller to deliver the security and on the part of the purchaser to make payment on the settlement date, i.e. within two days after the trading date,  (T + 2).

The BSE management is continuously monitoring and reviewing the Exchange’s existing laws and procedures in an effort to further develop and enhance its contribution to the economy of Bahrain.

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