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Bahrain exchange defiant of Moody's downgrade

24 August 2010

The Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) in Manama extended its step-by-step recovery as it ended Monday 0.39% higher at 1,424.27 points thanks to gains in the banking and insurance sector. Rating agency Moody's Investors Service downgraded Bahrain's sovereign rating to "A3" from "A2". Moody's sees "gradual but significant rise in the breakeven oil price" for Bahrain's national budget", along with a "relatively modest level of official financial assets" in the Kingdom. Nevertheless Manama plans to open a new and more internationally accepted market named Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX) in the last quarter in 2010.

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