City of London’s Global Financial Centres Index puts Bahrain 39th in list of world financial centres

Bahrain has been recognised as the world’s fastest growing financial centre in the third edition of The City of London’s Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI3).

Bahrain has risen 59 points in this well-respected ranking of the world’s financial centres; the fastest growth of any financial centre.

The GFCI report, which publishes the top 50 rated financial centres, ranks Bahrain 39th, up three places from the previous addition and ahead of neighbouring Qatar. Moreover, Bahrain has raced ahead of a number of other emerging financial centres, previously ranked as higher, such as Mumbai (48th); Beijing (46th) and Johannesburg (41st).

Of the Gulf States covered by the report, Bahrain is the only one to have moved up the Index in the last six months, whereas Dubai has slipped two places to 24th and Qatar is down three places to 47th.

The GFCI report ranks financial centres based on external benchmarking data and current views of competitiveness1. Factors of competitiveness are grouped into five key areas – People; Business Environment; Market Access; Infrastructure and General Competitiveness.

Bahrain has a highly diversified economy, expanding at more than 6% per annum2. The Kingdom’s GDP currently stands at US$15.7 billion3 to which it’s well established financial sector contributes more than 25%.

Commenting on the Index, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the government body with overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic development strategy of Bahrain and for creating the right climate to attract direct investment into the Kingdom, said: “Bahrain’s rise to prominence in the Index reflects both our continued investment in our finance sector and our ability to attract finance business to the Kingdom. We are recognised as the most business friendly and cost competitive centre in the Gulf.

"We welcome the scrutiny of the GFCI report and consider this Index to be a major endorsement of Bahrain’s reputation as a leading location for international business and finance and key destination in the Gulf for inward investment.”