MANAMA (December 02 2002) : Bahrain's central bank said on Sunday it had granted licences to two Turkish and Pakistani banks to operate as offshore banking units (OBUs) in the Gulf Arab state.
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), the central bank, said in a statement the licences were approved for Turkey's Turk Ekonomi Bankasi and Pakistan's Askari Commercial Bank Limited.
It said the kingdom also permitted a locally incorporated Algosaibi Bahrain Bank with a paid-in capital of $100 million to operate as an OBU.
Saudi Arabian investors hold a minority stake in the bank, it added.
There are around 140 banks and financial institutions in Bahrain, the Gulf's financial and banking hub, including 48 OBUs with combined assets of more than $100 billion.