Marcopolis presents the Bahrain Report focused on the investments, doing business, economy and other topics featuring interviews with key executives and government officials. The sectors under review are industry, telecom, banking sector, ICT, investments and more.
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Following the recent upgrade and the kingdom's improved S&P's rating, Abdul Karim Ahmed Bucheery, Chief Executive of BBK Bahrain and Chairman of the Bahrain Association of Banks, comments on the decision.
"To start with, as I’ve said in the past, I do not subscribe to the action that was taken by the rating agency to downgrade the country’s rating overnight from A- to BBB, sort of two notches downgrade. I think they made a hasty decision without taking the time to properly assess the implications of what has happened on the country’s ability to maintain the momentum of the economy. Thanks to God they have realized that the country has continued to do well. We grew last year at a rate of 3.9% in and the expectation for 2013 is that we’ll grow by 5%."
Bucheery sees the rating further improving the in the future. He says: "I think the next step probably will be a positive outlook and then hopefully we will go back into our old rating of a minimum of A-. I’m hopeful that this will happen. How long will this take? It usually takes a long time but I hope that within the coming year we can achieve that."
The improved rating will mean a reduced rate of borrowing for the banks in the international markets, which would stimulate lending and credit markets adding to the economic growth.