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Bahrain central bank to end bourse management

Central bank also regulating exchange.

December 20, 2010 2:47 by

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) plans to stop managing the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) to focus on its role of regulating the bourse, an official said on Monday.

“The CBB will continue to regulate the exchange but will not be involved in managing it,” a CBB spokeswoman said, declining to provide a date for the transfer of management or further details.

CBB governor Rasheed al-Maraj has said he was not happy that the central bank was both managing and regulating the exchange. He has said the two roles should be separated.

The BSE is plagued by low trading volumes, with hardly any company being traded on a daily basis.

Aluminium Bahrain  (Alba) last month priced its initial public offering on BSE at the bottom of the proposed price range after it drew just enough buyers to cover the offering.

Analysts said the listing on BSE with its track record of being illiquid was one reason for the lukewarm reception by regional investors.

Officials at BSE could not be reached for comment on Monday, a public holiday in Bahrain.

(Reporting by Frederik Richter; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)

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