Financial challenges are probed at key seminar

MANAMA: More than 45 senior business leaders from 15 leading Bahrain financial institutions and law firms discussed the recent restructuring developments in the Middle East.

They also looked at the challenges and themes around it from the perspective of lenders and financial participants at an exclusive business seminar yesterday.

Hosted by KPMG in Bahrain, the seminar provided insights on its experience with corporate restructurings in the Middle East and the key themes, issues and challenges that these restructurings present.

Held at the Sheraton Hotel, it was opened by KPMG partner and head of advisory Narayanan Ramachandran.

“Bahrain has shown strong commitment to supporting the financial sector, and there is a continuous commitment from the government towards significant spending in the economy,” Mr Ramachandran said.

“However, there are concern areas, including liquidity, cash flow mismatch and debt service capability, which needs to be addressed by the corporates in Bahrain,” he added.

He said while Bahrain had not suffered as severely from the financial crisis as other areas of the Gulf, the country’s exposure to the real estate and construction sector meant that up to 50 per cent of the economy, including the financial sector, was faced with challenges in the face of the economic downturn.

KPMG in Middle East and South Asia partner and head of restructuring David Burlison, KPMG in the UAE director restructuring Keith Buck and KPMG in Middle East and South Asia partner and global head of Islamic finance Neil Miller also addressed the seminar.

The seminar also highlighted the restructuring challenges and themes from an Islamic banking perspective.