Bahrain's Business Environment by Philip Dew

By Philip Dew

This yes advisor to the industrial tasks now attracting overseas traders to Bahrain emphasizes the Kingdom's function as a local monetary hub. It offers overviews of key sectors: typical assets, production, telecommunications and estate, and a transparent clarification of the criminal and regulatory framework, banking, finance, accounting, taxation and advertisement practices crucial for overseas traders and enterprise companions

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Non-executive directors Article 177 of the Commercial Companies Law permits a company’s general meeting to appoint a number of experienced members to the board of directors who are neither shareholders nor promoters of the company (nonexecutive directors). As members of the board, non-executive directors must comply with the duties and obligations placed on directors by the Commercial Companies Law and other related laws. Notwithstanding this, the specific role of the non-executive director, over and above his/her role as a member of the board, is to assist in the development of the company’s strategy by: • bringing his or her own expertise to the board; • voicing an independent opinion (being one step removed from the executive management of the company); • reviewing the performance of the board and the executive management; assisting in areas of conflict or potential conflict; • ensuring that directors are accountable to the company’s shareholders.

The issued share capital must currently be no less than BHD 500,000 and the authorized share capital must not be more than 10 times the issued share capital. Originally introduced so that participating shareholders could participate in Islamic investments whereby their shares could be redeemed on completion of the underlying investment, the scope has been widened to include non-Islamic projects. The formation procedures are the same as for other joint-stock companies; the annual registration fee is BHD 20,000.

This will often result in apparently open-market bidding actually being used to test market pricing levels, with the ‘successful’ bidder actually being an aunt, uncle or cousin. There is little chance of secrets being kept or business remaining confidential. There is also an element of ‘me too’ within the market, in that it is perceived that if one person (or family) can make a profit within any identified sector, ‘of course’ everybody else is missing out and they can also succeed in the same sector.

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