Bahrain’s move to become a high tech nancial hub could be undermined by concerns over its external nancing position, a more hardline authoritarian streak, and diplomatic rift with Qatar.
• Economic risk (MEDIUM): Slower growth in the third quarter has kept alive concerns over its vulnera- bility to movements and disruptions in the hydrocarbon sector.
• Political risk (HIGH): Bans on opposition parties standing in the 2018 elections combined with the life sentence handed down to the leader on one of those parties had highlighted an authoritarian streak.
• Financial risk (LOW): The risk of nancial stability is low, and Moody’s has warned that its outlook for the banking sector is negative. It ranks second globally and rst in the MENA for Islamic nance.
• Commercial risk (LOW): Bahrain is set to publish new laws to boost its digital economy. It has risen further within the top third of countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report index while inward investment has soared during 2018.