Of this only $34.7 bn was held by domestically, while $187.7 bn was foreign assets held by Bahraini licensed banks, indicating Bahrain’s success at attracting foreign instiutions to licence themselves in Manama.

Outstanding loans by retail banks to Bahraini citizens increased by 12.3 per cent to $1.13 bn during the last three months as banks looked to expand their retail lending portfolio’s to make up for lost stock market related income.

Of the country’s overall lending, around 60 per cent was to the corporate sector, 36.4 per cent was to individuals, and 5.1 per cent was to the government.

Wholesale banks represented 80 per cent of banking assets held in the financial system, with retail banks holding 20 per cent.