The Bahrain British Business Forum (BBBF) held a special business lunch to highlight the Kingdom's new corporate governance code for public companies. The event, held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, featured a presentation by Adam Vause and Adrian Woodcock of international legal practice Norton Rose.
Scheduled to take effect from January 1st, 2011, all joint stock companies which are incorporated under the Bahrain Commercial Companies Law must adhere to the code by the end of next year.
Commenting on the event, Khalid Al Zayani, Chairman of the BBBF said, "With its implementation date imminent, we felt it was a great opportunity to draw our members' attention to this code which mirrors many of the standards found in other markets around the world."
A recent survey entitled "Global financial recovery: A matter of perspective" conducted by Norton Rose found that 75% of Middle East financial institutions thought that complying with corporate governance regimes was something that would add value to their organisation; particularly in terms of increasing credibility, reducing risk and protecting reputation.
"The Code sets a new bar by which public companies will be judged and provides a benchmark for those private companies that wish to voluntarily comply." said Mr. Vause. "As the results of our survey indicate, we expect to see a greater focus on corporate governance in Bahrain and the wider GCC over the coming months and years."
The Code was developed by the National Steering Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) following a consultation period of more than one year and review of more than 25 national and company governance codes from other countries.