Bahrain Bourse (BHB) held an official bell-ringing ceremony today (March 26, 2017) at the Bourse premises to inaugurate the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM), an innovative equity market designed specifically to offer the region’s fast-growing companies an alternative cost-and time-effective means for raising capital.
An agreement was signed with Tamkeen to support businesses and enterprises cover the costs associated with listing and appointing a sponsor while the event featured BHB signing separate agreements with professional advisory firms KPMG in Bahrain and Keypoint to become authorized sponsors, who will be authorized service providers (sponsors), within the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM).
The ceremony was attended by Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism (MoIC) in Bahrain and the Minister-In-Charge of Bahrain Bourse H.E. Zayed Rashid Al-Zayani, Bahrain Bourse CEO Sh. Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Tamkeen Chief Executive Dr. Ebrahim Janahi, Managing Partner of KPMG in Bahrain Jamal Fakhro, and Managing Director of Keypoint Wajdi Al-Jallad.
As per BIM rules, companies must appoint and retain a sponsor before and during the listing process. In return, the sponsor is responsible for providing companies the required support and guidance to fulfill the BIM admission and financial disclosure requirements. Bahrain Bourse CEO Sh. Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said, “I am pleased to say that the Bahrain Investment Market is now officially open for business! Having two of the leading advisory firms coming on board as authorized sponsors and more expected to join soon, as well as Tamkeen’s new dedicated support program, adds even more value to the BIM’s innovative world-class equity market ecosystem.”
Sh. Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa also noted that the BIM was developed to address two needs in the market simultaneously. The first is the financing gap faced by fast-growing companies who seek growth capital but are not yet at the level where they are able to meet the criteria of the Bahrain Bourse Mainboard. The second is the global investors increasing demand to invest in companies in the region, as indicated by the 42% increase in Bahrain Bourse trading volumes from 2015 to 2016.
Start-ups represent the largest and fastest-growing segment of the private sector. According to figures released by Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism earlier this year, the number of commercial registrations in Bahrain nearly tripled, from 9,000 in 2015 to nearly 27,000 in 2016. Therefore, initiatives such as the BIM will fill an important financing gap in the market.
Commenting on this announcement, Tamkeen’s Chief Executive Dr. Ebrahim Janahi said, “Tamkeen’s support for the Bahrain Investment Market comes as part of our efforts to support enterprises across all stages of development and making the private sector the key driver of economic growth, a key element of which is supporting opportunities for growth and addressing any key challenges businesses can face at each stage of their lifecycle. Becoming a publicly listed company is considered one of the biggest steps towards further expansion and growth and opens up new doors for development and advancement. Listing is another source of financing enterprises which comes alongside Tamkeen’s Tamweel financing program provided through its partnering banks.”
In addition to access to capital, listed companies will benefit from the implementation of globally-accepted standards for financial auditing and reporting such as the IFRS and AAOIFI, as mandated by the BIM.
Managing Partner of KPMG in Bahrain Jamal Fakhro, noted, “KPMG has had a presence in the country for nearly 50 years, and we understand the needs and challenges that local enterprises face. We are looking forward to combining our local expertise with our global network and resources to provide companies wishing to be listed within the BIM with market-leading insights and tailored Advisory services.”
Managing Director of Keypoint Wajdi Al-Jallad, commented, “We believe that Bahrain Bourse has embarked on a strategic initiative that will result in a major positive change in the country’s economy and capital market. This is a first step towards a robust and well-regulated stock market platform that will aim to assist various sizes of companies from different economic sectors who are seeking expansion and growth. We, at Keypoint, are proud to participate as Authorized Sponsors and we pledge our commitment to play an effective role to support the vision of the Bahrain Bourse to make Bahrain Investment Market a successful initiative”
Companies interested in listing on Bahrain Investment Market and specialized advisory firms interested in becoming authorized by Bahrain Bourse may contact the Bahrain Bourse Help Desk by calling (+973) 17 261260 or emailing [email protected]