Bahrain has lagged other Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia in implementing reforms.
Bahrain sovereign wealth fund’s assets jumped 46 percent to $15.4 billion last year after the consolidation of McLaren Group Ltd. and as profit rose at the government-controlled aluminum producer.
Mumtalakat Holding Co. said Aluminium Bahrain’s net income grew 91 percent and the fair value gain resulting from the consolidation of the McLaren was $667 million, according to a stat3ement on Wednesday.
The fund, one of only a few in the Middle East to publish financial statements, committed $88 million to the local economy to support projects such as the Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Real Estate Investment and the Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard. Mumtalakat’s capital expenditure rose to $1.6 billion from $657 million a year earlier.
Bahrain has lagged other Gulf nations in implementing reforms after a drop in oil prices squeezed its finances. The country’s richer Gulf allies have pledged to provide it with an economic aid package after the foreign exchange reserves that anchor its currency peg dwindled. Investors feared that without help from its neighbors, the country would be forced to abandon the peg, raising questions about the ability of other vulnerable Gulf nations to sustain their own currency policies.
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