AS Bahrain entered a state of emergency and all Britons were advised to leave the country, both HSBC and Standard Chartered announced they were shutting their offices there, following the suspension of the countries stock market yesterday.
The stock market had been moving in line with other world markets but was struggling after the Gulf states cost of borrowing hit a new high the day before, reaching 6.84%
The cost of borrowing has risen 2.1% since November, and is now higher than that of Lenanon, a country known for having heavy debts.
Fitch also cut the regions creditworthyness rating two places from an A to a BBB, leaving them only two ratings from the dreaded ‘speculative’ grade level.
The country currently has $7.6billion of debts outstanding, which is around 40% of its annual economic output, although the region is due to repay around $2billion this year.
HSBC and Standard announced they were removing staff for their own safety following riots in financial districts, but that cash machines would continue to run.