Nanama / Emirates Business
A new report by KPMG has revealed that Bahrain enjoys some of the region’s lowest operating costs for financial services institutions. The report covered the average costs of a range of factors including commercial rental rates, occupancy cost, manpower cost, communication and utility expenses, in addition to the average cost of living.
Financial sub-sectors that require higher numbers of educated, bilingual employees, such as ancillary services for the insurance, asset management and Islamic finance sectors, are particularly well placed to benefit. Bahrain offers higher value manpower costs, at an average of 6 per cent and 15 per cent less than Dubai and Qatar respectively. Furthermore, the participation of nationals is much higher in Bahrain.
In addition, Bahrain offers lower residential and education costs than both locations, with average rental rates in Dubai and Qatar reaching twice those of Bahrain. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), commented: “The financial services sector offers scope for complementary growth across the GCC region, but this report demonstrates that Bahrain presents particular benefits for businesses seeking to build a regional presence in key subsectors or to develop back office operations. As well as offering a strong value proposition and skilled local workforce, the Kingdom also has a long-established and well-respected regulatory framework and a liberal, supportive business environment.”
Head of Financial Services at KPMG in Bahrain, Mr. Jalil Al Aali also added, “We are honored to be part of this important initiative and to provide an independent overview of the Financial Sector in Bahrain, a critical sector in the local economy. The report’s findings confirm that this sector remains attractive for foreign investors despite the strong regional competition.”