Bermuda signs DTA with Bahrain and looks to growth in GCC region

By added on 23/07/2010

Bermuda’s Stock Exchange President and CEO, Greg Wojciechowski, said today that his visit to Bahrain had convinced him that the Gulf state offers Bermuda’s financial community a remarkable opportunity to develop commercial relationships thoroughout the GCC region.

Mr Wojciechowski was a member of the successful trade mission to Bahrain led by Bermuda’s Minister of Finance, the Hon. Paula A. Cox.  The visit followed the signing of a Double Taxation Agreement between the two jurisdictions earlier this year.

During the visit, delegates met with Bahrain’s top government and business leaders prior to attending the first Bahrain/Bermuda conference on Global Financial and Insurance Services in Manama on July 6. 

The event was jointly sponsored by Bahrain’s Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Bahrain Association of Banks and the Bahrain Insurance Association.

Mr Wojciechowski said there were many areas of growth to be pursued in Bahrain.  The agreement signed between the two countries was the first of its kind Bermuda has signed with any country with provisions that makes it easier for Bermuda and Bahrain business leaders to cooperate in finance.

Following his earlier meeting with Mr Fouad A. Rahman Rashid, Director of the Bahrain Stock Exchange, Mr Wojciechowski said he believed there will be positive developments in building business between the two economies sooner rather than later.  Bermuda, he said, could perhaps even look forward to seeing the listing of the first Islamic bond or sukuk on the BSX in the not too distant future.

Both sides,   Mr Wojciechowski said, discussed possible areas of cooperation and development especially those related to listing mutual funds, asset management, hedge funds and the listing of Islamic financial instruments.  “I believe an opportunity exists to build stronger ties between the two stock exchanges and I look forward to progressing our initial discussions,” the BSX President said.

“In Bermuda we are interested in listing sukuks from this region on our market.  I feel strongly that Bermuda can act as a gateway to the North American and European markets for Bahrain’s Islamic financial expertise and, in turn, Bahrain can act as a gateway for Bermuda’s financial expertise in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mr Wojciechowski said.

“It is apparent to me that a relationship with The Bahrain Stock Exchange presents a special opportunity for joint cooperation, one which we hope to pursue. As a regulator, I was impressed to see the world-class trading environment at the Bahrain Stock Exchange and I look forward to the opportunity of furthering my talks with my Bahrain counterparts,” Mr. Wojciechowski added.

The Bermuda Stock Exchange, established in 1971, has 700 issues listed and has a market capitalization of US$200 billion.  BSX is a member of the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO), the World Federation of Exchanges and other regional and international federations related to capital markets.