MANAMA: Banking is expected to emerge from the vortex created by market, regulatory and technological forces in a leaner, more effective and more focused form, an industry leader has said.
According to Adel El Labban, chief executive and managing director of Ahli United Bank Group, Bahrain’s largest lender, banking has always been a resilient industry and he was confident of its future prospects.
“The banking industry is at a truly pivotal turning point where re-invention and adaptation will be critical to the survival and success of the fittest.
“The combination of market, regulatory and technological forces affecting banking at present is probably unprecedented in terms of their scope and impact,” he added.
Mr El Labban was speaking during the 12th annual forecast dinner of CFA Society Bahrain, an association for local investment professionals, at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay.
During the event, CFA Society Bahrain members and other financial sector professionals discussed latest market trends and the outlook for 2018.
Also speaking was Dr Florence Eid-Oakden, chief executive and chief economist of Arabia Monitor, whose topic was Sino-Arab bilateral trade, addressing the Mena region’s strategic position in China’s One Belt One Road strategy which provides access to Chinese capital.
She has forecast Sino-Mena bilateral trade could exceed $600 billion by the end of the decade.
Looking to the year ahead, CFA Society Bahrain president Mahmoud Nawar said: “We are extremely pleased to now have over 200 members at CFA Society Bahrain. Our growth will allow us to continue our efforts towards promoting the highest standards of professional excellence whilst contributing to the development of local capital markets and professional skills within Bahrain’s investment community.”