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The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has granted two separate licences to establish operations in Bahrain.

The first is to Addax International Bank. The Bahrain subsidiary to be named Addax International Bank BSC will have an authorised and paid-up capital of US$10mn.

The bank will operate as an investment advisor/broker and enter into distribution agreements with third parties, in addition to being able to provide other financial advisory services. Addax will focus on marketing instead of managing investment products. The product range includes traditional mutual funds, guaranteed funds, savings and pension plans, Islamic funds and others.

The new licence was approved recently by the prime minister and chairman of the BMA board, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

The bank’s main shareholder is International Financial Advisors, which is an investment company licensed by the central bank of Kuwait . It will have a 20% stake and the rest is divided among other Gulf shareholders.

The BMA granted the second licence to the National Bank of Bahrain to establish an Islamic Financing Company with an authorised and paid-up capital of Bd11.4mn (US$30mn).

The Islamic financing company will operate as a shari”a compliant financer in the local market and will provide loans to the public based on the shari”a law.

This company is wholly owned by the National Bank of Bahrain

The BMA has recently developed a new special licence for this type of activities.