Bahrain, India consider scrapping scheme to protect migrant maids

India and Bahrain are considering scrapping a financial guarantee scheme used to protect migrant maids who are not paid by their employers, in a move activists fear could expose thousands of Indian women in the Arab nation. There are more than 300,000 Indian migrant workers in the Gulf state of one million people, according to the Indian embassy in Manama. Most are men employed as construction workers, gardeners and drivers. There are also about 15,000 women working as maids. Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority said in a blog published earlier…

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Bahrain doubles foreign direct investment

Bahrain secured a total of $280 million of new foreign inward investment in 2016 from 40 new companies, including Ikea, the state economic development agency said. A report from the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) was double that of 2015, when FDI stood at $142 million invested by 22 companies. Last year, the tourism sector accounted for three-quarters of the investments, EDB said, while manufacturing and logistics accounted for 15 percent and financial services accounted for nine percent. The companies that…

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Bahrain's inflation rate falls sharply in January

Bahrain’s inflation rate fell sharply in January as food prices dropped, according to latest data released by the country’s statistics office. The inflation rate fell to 0.8 percent last month from 2.3 percent a year earlier, the figures showed. Although housing and utility costs, which account for 24 percent of consumer expenses, rose 3 percent from a year earlier, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which account for 16 percent, fell 2.3 percent. Inflation in Bahrain rose to 3.8 percent in April 2016, its highest level since December 2013….

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Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank wins backing to launch new structure

Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic bank, has received regulatory backing for its plans for a new group structure designed to develop growth in its core retail banking business. The plans involve the creation of a new holding company that will be listed on stock markets in Bahrain and Kuwait. The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank and will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries – an Islamic retail bank unit and an investment unit. The new structure was proposed…

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Three high-ranking prison officials suspended over jailbreak

Three high-ranking prison officials were suspended Wednesday following an armed attack on a prison in Bahrain that saw a policeman killed and several convicted inmates freed. The decision was made by Interior Minister Lt-General Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifa as part of an investigation into the circumstances of what the ministry described as a “terrorist attack” on the Jaw Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre on January 1, local media reported. Al Khalifa ordered the suspension of the General Director of Reformation and Rehabilitation, Head of Reformation and Rehabilitation and Director of Security…

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Social media companies block 'culturally inappropriate' content in Bahrain

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have removed ‘culturally inappropriate content’ on appearing their platforms in Bahrain. The move follows a number of meetings with Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), who sought to discuss an increasing number of complaints from consumers relating to inappropriate content found on social media platforms in the kingdom. Bahrain News Agency reports that the TRA sought to promote collaboration on issues of mutual concern, and particularly to address the stream of inappropriate content in the ‘discover’ or ‘explore’ sections of some of the…

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