The Bahraini government’s recent decision to grant 100 per cent foreign ownership for businesses is likely to have a “positive” impact on its property market, according to report by real estate consultancy Cluttons.
The decision was announced earlier this week following approval from Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Al Khalifa.
“Bahrain will stand a good chance to improve its rating on the index of Facility of Starting Business – an asset which will encourage leading international firms to establish in Bahrain – the gate to the GCC and the region,” the Bahraini cabinet said in a statement.
Under the new law, the government will allow 100 per cent ownership in sectors such as residency, real estate, administrative services, health and social work, information and communications, manufacturing and technical activities.
Head of research at Cluttons Faisal Durrani said: “For the property market, Bahrain already offers a competitive advantage to many other regional locations as residential and commercial rents and values are amongst the most attractive in the region.
“There is unlikely to be an overnight boost to real estate values and rents, but it will certainly help to support long term activity and we will need to reassess our medium to long term forecasts as a result of the announcement,” he added.
The new decision is likely to attract companies to set up a Middle East foothold in Bahrain, Cluttons said.
Head of Cluttons Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Harry Goodson-Wickes added: “The government’s decision to allow 100 per cent foreign ownership is an important development for Bahrain.
“Economic growth in the country had been subdued ever since oil prices fell from record highs two years ago and the announcement will likely have positive implications for business.
“The move will also improve investor confidence and make Bahrain an attractive place to work and live in.”