Bahrain’s move to become a high tech financial hub could be undermined by concerns over its external financing position, a more hardline authoritarian streak, and diplomatic rift with Qatar.
Economic risk (MEDIUM): The downgrade of its sovereign debt to junk by all three ratings agencies highlights the low levels of reserves held by Bahrain.
Political risk (HIGH): Further crackdowns on opposition parties adds to tensions fuelled by the first state executions in seven years while the blockade of Qatar may have a domestic impact.
Financial risk (LOW): The risk of financial stability is low but Moody’s has warned that the outlook for the banking sector is negative. It ranks second globally and first in the MENA for Islamic finance.
Commercial risk (LOW): Bahrain is in the top third of countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report index and has risen up on the Aeon risk metric.