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Bahrain: bankers didn't sign up for blood on the streets | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times - FT.com

The Bahrain government has spent millions of dollars promoting itself as "Business Friendly Bahrain" lately. "Bullet-friendly Bahrain" more like, goes the grim joke now.

After a bloody clampdown on a peaceful Egyptian-style protest calling for more democracy, opposition members now fear that the violence, rising sectarian tension and challenges to the ruling family will translate into an erosion of the country's business standing.

Manama, Bahrain's capital, was once the Gulf's pre-eminent financial centre, primarily acting as an offshore banking hub for rich but closed-off Saudi Arabia. But in recent years it has lost momentum to Dubai, where international banks have flocked in recent years.

Bahrain still boasts the regional headquarters of BNP Paribas and remains an important Islamic banking and insurance centre. But it's been hit hard by the rising competition elsewhere in this oil-rich region.

Few bankers signed up for blood on the streets of the capital.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Feb 19th, 2011 at 07:48:38 AM EST
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