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Bahrain's government investment company, Mumtalakat, says losses more than doubled last year as the economic slump hurt key businesses. The Mumtalakat fund says losses increased to 183 million dinars ($485.4 million) from 69 million ($183 million) a year earlier.

 

Mumtalakat is a holding company mostly focused on state-run businesses in the tiny Gulf island nation. It says it spent the last year restructuring some of its holdings. Mumtalakat says the global downturn particularly hurt business at its money-losing airline Gulf Air and at Alba, an aluminum smelting company. Its statement didn't provide specific financial details for those units.

 

June 28, 2010

 

 

Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk

 

Bahrain, the GCC’s smallest state, has been experiencing major economic difficulties as it tries to both diversify its economy as its oil supply rapidly dwindles, and face competition from Dubai and Qatar to its banking sector.

 

The news reported by Mumtalakat demonstrates the difficulty the country is facing. It is likely to remain dependant on Saudi assistance as it tries to find a place for itself in an increasingly competitive region.

 

The chart shows the make-up of the GDP of Bahrain.