Latest Bahrain news

  • Exclusive: Bahrain's Ahli United Bank considers sale or merger - source …
    Exclusive: Bahrain's Ahli United Bank considers sale or merger - source … 17 hours ago

    By Anjuli Davies, Pamela Barbaglia and Sophie Sassard LONDON (Reuters) - Ahli United Bank (AUB) , Bahrain's largest lender, is evaluating a sale or a merger with a rival bank in a potential $5 billion (2 billion pounds) deal, several bankers familiar with the situation said. A deal of this size would be the largest banking transaction in the region for the past 20 years, according to Thomson Reuters data, beating Emirates Bank's $3.7 billion acquisition of National Bank of Dubai in 2007 and Qatar National Bank's $1.9 billion purchase of Societe Generale's Egyptian business in 2012. AUB is one of only a few banks in the Gulf region with pan-Arab operations and as such offers scope for further growth in countries such as Egypt, where western banks are seeking to cut their exposure. "One way to do it is to combine AUB with another banking institution." AUB came close to a merger with a bank based in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area in 2010 but the financial crisis derailed the deal, said one banker who was involved in the talks but declined to name the bank. More »

  • Resolving the Gulf crisis
    Resolving the Gulf crisis 20 hours ago

    To resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis, Gulf countries have to institutionalise their foreign policy. More »

  • Rosberg out to wreck Hamilton hat-trick bid
    Rosberg out to wreck Hamilton hat-trick bid 22 hours ago

    By Abhishek Takle SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton can chalk up three wins in a row for the first time in his Formula One career on Sunday but Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg will be doing all he can to deny him the hat-trick. Returning to the Chinese circuit where he took his first pole and victory in 2012, Rosberg has been runner-up in the last two races but still leads the championship by 11 points after his season-opening success in Australia. The pair served up a thriller under the floodlights in Bahrain 10 days ago and another wheel-to-wheel duel in China would be a further boost for a sport fighting back against criticism of its new regulations. Hamilton, the 2008 champion, is ready to do his bit. More »

  • Motor racing-Formula One drivers' form sheet 22 hours ago

    April 16 (Reuters) - Formula One drivers' form sheet for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix inShanghai (listed in championship order, most recent races first): Number=race result, R=retired, DQ=disqualified, NS=did not start, NC-not classified. ... More »

  • Ferrari keep up the noise against new-look F1
    Ferrari keep up the noise against new-look F1 Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    (Reuters) - Formula One's new look makes no sense and is tantamount to self-harm, the head of the Italian Olympic Committee has said in comments highlighted by Ferrari as supportive of their own criticism. "I speak on behalf of Italian sports people and fans, I don't like this Formula One and in my opinion it's delivered a product that has absolutely no sense," the Ferrari website quoted Giovanni Malago as saying. "I hope the people who run the sport look again at the rules because the way Formula One is now, it has much less appeal and that's a shame as it is an extraordinary world," he added in words that will be music to the ears of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. Others have criticised the sound and a survey of Ferrari fans at the end of March, before a night race in Bahrain showed just how thrilling the new format could be, found 83 percent were unhappy with the changes. More »

  • Motor racing-Ferrari keep up the noise against new-look F1 Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Formula One's new look makes no sense and is tantamount to self-harm, the head of the Italian Olympic Committee has said in comments highlighted by Ferrari as supportive of their own criticism. "I speak on behalf of Italian sports people and fans, I don't like this Formula One and in my opinion it's delivered a product that has absolutely no sense," the Ferrari website quoted Giovanni Malago as saying. "I hope the people who run the sport look again at the rules because the way Formula One is now, it has much less appeal and that's a shame as it is an extraordinary world," he added in words that will be music to the ears of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo. Others have criticised the sound and a survey of Ferrari fans at the end of March, before a night race in Bahrain showed just how thrilling the new format could be, found 83 percent were unhappy with the changes. More »

  • Saudi renews demand for 'stern' world action on Syria
    Saudi renews demand for 'stern' world action on Syria Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Saudi Arabia Tuesday urged "stern" world action against Syria after the regime's decision to hold presidential elections and its alleged use of toxic gas against civilians. More »

  • Sounds like F1 is on right track - Mosley
    Sounds like F1 is on right track - Mosley Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One is on the right track with its new V6 turbo engines and the governing body can ignore criticism from those in the sport pushing their own agendas, according to former FIA president Max Mosley. The International Automobile Federation is conducting a study into the noise of the new power units, which critics have said is not loud or exciting enough compared to the old V8s. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has talked scathingly of racers becoming 'taxi drivers' because of the importance of fuel economy while F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said changes must be made. FIA president Jean Todt has ruled out any rethink, however. More »

  • Bahrain court jails 11 Shiites over police attack
    Bahrain court jails 11 Shiites over police attack Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    A Bahraini court on Monday sentenced 11 Shiite demonstrators to five years in jail each for attacking police with iron rods and petrol bombs near Manama last year, a judicial source said. More »

  • Canada-Saudi arms deal has 'significant risk'
    Canada-Saudi arms deal has 'significant risk' Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    As Canada prepares to ship $10bn worth of LAVs to Saudi Arabia, critics urge Ottawa to cease arming repressive regimes. More »

  • Ferrari team principal resigns
    Ferrari team principal resigns Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Stefano Domenicali admits that it is 'time to make a significant change' after his six years as team boss ends. More »

  • Domenicali resigns as Ferrari F1 boss
    Domenicali resigns as Ferrari F1 boss Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Stefano Domenicali resigned as Ferrari's Formula One team principal on Monday with the company's North America president and chief executive Marco Mattiacci appointed as his replacement. The Italian glamour team, the oldest and most successful in the sport, have made a poor start to the season with two fourth places for Spaniard Fernando Alonso the team's best results in three races so far. Ferrari have not won a driver's world championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, although they were constructors' champions in 2008. "There are particular moments in all of our professional lives where you need the courage to take difficult and very painful decisions," Domenicali, who had been principal since January 2008, said in a Ferrari statement. More »

  • Stefano Domenicali quits as Ferrari team principal
    Stefano Domenicali quits as Ferrari team principal Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    MARANELLO, Italy (AP) — Stefano Domenicali resigned as Ferrari team principal on Monday and will be replaced by Marco Mattiacci, president of Ferrari North America. More »

  • Domenicali Quits As Ferrari Boss
    Domenicali Quits As Ferrari Boss Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Stefano Domenicali has resigned as Team Principal of Ferrari. Although Ferrari are yet to comment, the 48-year-old has paid the price for another slugglish start to a Formula 1 season by the Scuderia. After three races, Ferrari stand a lowly fifth in the Constructors' Championship, 78 points behind Mercedes - F1's only other manufacturer outfit, but one which has stolen a clear march on the Italian marque in adapting to the sport's new hybrid technology. While Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg duelled wheel-to-wheel for victory at Sakhir, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen could only trail home ninth and tenth respectively. More »

  • Spain eyes stronger economic ties with UAE visit
    Spain eyes stronger economic ties with UAE visit Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — King Juan Carlos of Spain began a visit to the Persian Gulf region on Monday by telling United Arab Emirates officials that deepening ties with their oil-rich country was a top priority, highlighting the role wealthy Arab states could play in shoring up the battered Spanish economy. More »

  • Saudis lead Middle East military spending
    Saudis lead Middle East military spending Mon, Apr 14, 2014

    Kingdom spent $67bn in 2013, according to report - giving it the fourth largest military budget in the world. More »

  • UAE unveils new law in wider push for job creation
    UAE unveils new law in wider push for job creation Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    The United Arab Emirates finance minister said Sunday that officials are finalizing a new law to boost entrepreneurship with broad incentives, part of a wider push to create jobs for a burgeoning young ... More »

  • Saudi Arabia says seizes drugs worth $267 million, arrests six Sun, Apr 13, 2014

    Saudi Arabian police have arrested six people and seized illegal drugs worth 1 billion riyals (159 million pounds) that were being smuggled into the country from neighbouring Bahrain, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday. Spokesman Major General Mansour Turki said five Saudi citizens and one Bahraini had been detained in the operation after police uncovered 22.6 million amphetamine pills hidden inside coils of barbed wire and rolls of plastic. All narcotics and alcohol are illegal in Saudi Arabia, which has a young population and applies sharia (strict Islamic law). In 2010 Saudi Arabia received around 7 tonnes of Captagon tablets, one of the most popular forms of amphetamine in the Middle East, representing around a third of total world supply, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. More »

  • Bahrain policeman hurt in Shiite village blast
    Bahrain policeman hurt in Shiite village blast Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    An explosion has wounded a policeman in a Shiite village near Manama, where clashes frequently erupt between security forces and protesters against the ruling Sunni dynasty, the interior ministry said. More »

  • Red Bull appeal is first test of F1's new era
    Red Bull appeal is first test of F1's new era Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - The first big technical controversy of Formula One's new engine era has its day in court on Monday with champions Red Bull confident they have a strong case in appealing Daniel Ricciardo's Australian Grand Prix exclusion. Ricciardo finished second in his home race last month, his debut for Red Bull, but was disqualified hours later when stewards ruled his car had breached the new fuel flow regulations. In what is seen as a critical test of the regulations accompanying the V6 turbo engines and energy recovery systems, Red Bull will say the fuel flow sensors cannot be trusted. "We have got a very strong case," principal Christian Horner, whose team needs every point they can get after a troubled start to the season, said after last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix. More »

  • Motor racing-Red Bull appeal is first test of F1's new era Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - The first big technical controversy of Formula One's new engine era has its day in court on Monday with champions Red Bull confident they have a strong case in appealing Daniel Ricciardo's Australian Grand Prix exclusion. Ricciardo finished second in his home race last month, his debut for Red Bull, but was disqualified hours later when stewards ruled his car had breached the new fuel flow regulations. In what is seen as a critical test of the regulations accompanying the V6 turbo engines and energy recovery systems, Red Bull will say the fuel flow sensors cannot be trusted. "We have got a very strong case," principal Christian Horner, whose team needs every point they can get after a troubled start to the season, said after last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix. More »

  • Bahrain bomb blast wounds policeman Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's interior ministry says a homemade bomb has exploded just outside the capital, Manama, wounding a policeman. More »

  • NASCAR owner Gene Haas granted F1 license
    NASCAR owner Gene Haas granted F1 license Sat, Apr 12, 2014

    DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — NASCAR team owner Gene Haas said Friday he has been granted a license from Formula One's governing body to start a U.S.-based entry in the series, perhaps as early as next season. More »

  • Haas Formula One entry accepted by FIA Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    Formula One could have an American constructor on the starting grid next year after the governing FIA approved an entry for NASCAR team owner Gene Haas on Friday. The International Automobile Federation said it was also considering another application made by former F1 team principal Colin Kolles. "In close consultation with the CRH (commercial rights holder), the FIA has accepted the candidature of Haas Formula LLC and are in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa," the FIA said in a statement. More »

  • UPDATE 1-Motor racing-Haas Formula One entry accepted by FIA Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    * FIA approves Haas entry as new F1 team * Also considering 'Forza Rossa' application (Adds Haas statement, background) By Alan Baldwin April 11 (Reuters) - Formula One could have an American constructor on the starting grid next year after the governing FIA approved an entry for NASCAR team owner Gene Haas on Friday. The International Automobile Federation said it was also considering another application made by former F1 team principal Colin Kolles. "In close consultation with the CRH (commercial rights holder), the FIA has accepted the candidature of Haas Formula LLC and are in the process of conducting further investigations for Forza Rossa," the FIA said in a statement. More »

  • Social challenges as Saudis draw throne's future
    Social challenges as Saudis draw throne's future Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — While Saudi Arabia's royals work out the succession of the throne behind closed doors, a few voices are raising the most sensitive matter of all in the kingdom, questioning the ruling Al Saud family's claim to absolute power and its unchecked rights to the country's oil wealth. More »

  • Policeman hurt in Bahrain bomb blast - ministry Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    A policeman was wounded when a homemade bomb exploded in a village in Bahrain on Friday, the Interior Ministry said, in the latest of a series of attacks by suspected Shi'ite Muslim militants on security forces. No one claimed responsibility for the blast in the village of al-Daih, west of the capital Manama. Bahrain has for three years been grappling with unrest by its Shi'ite Muslim community demanding political reform and an end to perceived discrimination in the Sunni Muslim-ruled country. Bahrain denies discrimination. More »

  • Mercedes driver duel has hidden depths
    Mercedes driver duel has hidden depths Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - The rivalry between Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg produced an epic battle under the floodlights in Bahrain last weekend but what Formula One fans saw was just the tip of the iceberg. "One of the new games you can play in Formula One is energy management," Mercedes executive technical director Paddy Lowe told reporters after his team's third win in three races this season and second one-two finish. A cat and mouse game, staying ahead of the other with the energy around the lap." Last season Formula One had just the KERS kinetic energy recovery system which provided a limited boost for overtaking and defending a position. The new rules have seen the old V8 engines replaced by a V6 turbo and ERS - energy recovery systems - harnessing exhaust gases and brake heat, which provide a much greater boost and more strategy options. More »

  • Kuwait hopes for remedy to Gulf row over Qatar soon Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    By Sylvia Westall KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait expects to see "positive steps" taken in a dispute between Qatar and three other Gulf Arab states as soon as this week that may include a decision to send those countries' ambassadors back to Doha, a Kuwaiti official said on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last month took the unprecedented step of recalling their ambassadors from Qatar in protest at what they see as Doha's political meddling and giving support to Islamist groups that they see as a regional political and security menace. The public nature of the dispute has highlighted the severity of divisions that are usually kept behind the closed doors of the U.S.-allied Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). "There will be very positive steps in the future regarding this ... I hope this week," Kuwait's undersecretary for foreign affairs Khaled al-Jarallah told reporters. More »

  • Marussia F1 team now independent from car company
    Marussia F1 team now independent from car company Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    The Marussia Formula One team is no longer owned by Marussia Motors and the closure of the Russian sportscar maker will have no effect on its operations, the British-based outfit said on Wednesday. The RIA Novosti news agency reported that Marussia Motors, who took a majority stake in what was the Virgin Racing team in late 2010, had shut down with staff leaving to join a government-run technical institute. "The supercar project was ambitious but it is disappointing that it was unable to get to market." The Ferrari-powered team was now controlled by Marussia Communications Ltd, she added, but gave no further details. Marussia Motors had presented prototypes of two supercars it intended to produce but plans for production stalled before they hit the showrooms. More »

  • Motor racing-Marussia F1 team now independent from car company Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    The Marussia Formula One team is no longer owned by Marussia Motors and the closure of the Russian sportscar maker will have no effect on its operations, the British-based outfit said on Wednesday. The RIA Novosti news agency reported that Marussia Motors, who took a majority stake in what was the Virgin Racing team in late 2010, had shut down with staff leaving to join a government-run technical institute. "The supercar project was ambitious but it is disappointing that it was unable to get to market." The Ferrari-powered team was now controlled by Marussia Communications Ltd, she added, but gave no further details. Marussia Motors had presented prototypes of two supercars it intended to produce but plans for production stalled before they hit the showrooms. More »

  • Sirotkin needs bigger shoes for F1 testing
    Sirotkin needs bigger shoes for F1 testing Wed, Apr 9, 2014

    (Reuters) - Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin needed bigger shoes as he stepped up for a Formula One test with Sauber in Bahrain on Tuesday that gave him enough mileage to qualify for a super license. The 18-year-old reserve, being prepared by Sauber for a possible Formula One future, did 300km and 76 laps - more than a race distance - of the Sakhir circuit that hosted the country's grand prix on Sunday. When we changed the shoes, it was still not the best and difficult to drive." Sauber's test engineer Paul Russell said the driver had done well in a car he had never driven before on an unfamiliar layout. Sirotkin's compatriot Daniil Kvyat, the 19-year-old who races for Toro Rosso, was slowest on the timesheets in 1:40.452 with Sunday's runner-up Nico Rosberg quickest for dominant Mercedes in 1:35.697 and completing 121 laps. More »

  • Motor racing-Sirotkin needs bigger shoes for F1 testing Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin needed bigger shoes as he stepped up for a Formula One test with Sauber in Bahrain on Tuesday that gave him enough mileage to qualify for a super licence. The 18-year-old reserve, being prepared by Sauber for a possible Formula One future, did 300km and 76 laps - more than a race distance - of the Sakhir circuit that hosted the country's grand prix on Sunday. When we changed the shoes, it was still not the best and difficult to drive." Sauber's test engineer Paul Russell said the driver had done well in a car he had never driven before on an unfamiliar layout. Sirotkin's compatriot Daniil Kvyat, the 19-year-old who races for Toro Rosso, was slowest on the timesheets in 1:40.452 with Sunday's runner-up Nico Rosberg quickest for dominant Mercedes in 1:35.697 and completing 121 laps. More »

  • US output, potential low demand pose risks to Gulf oil: IMF
    US output, potential low demand pose risks to Gulf oil: IMF Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field over the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom, on March 24, 2014 near Lost ... More »

  • Formula One still has a license to thrill
    Formula One still has a license to thrill Mon, Apr 7, 2014

    By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Those who feared the wheels were about to fall off Formula One had better think again. The sport has come in for a fuel tank full of criticism lately, much of it self-inflicted, but Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix broke the negative spiral with a race that lit up the track in more ways than one. The cars were too quiet and not quick enough, likened ludicrously to golf buggies with cautious 'taxi drivers' more preoccupied with saving fuel and sparing the tires than overtaking. "Unless I am very much mistaken," as retired British television commentator Murray 'pants on fire' Walker would no doubt have opined had he been at the microphone on Sunday night at the floodlit Sakhir circuit: "And I AM very much mistaken..." After a dull race in Malaysia the previous weekend, Sunday was suddenly showtime again. More »