In December, a senior Irish delegation travelled to Bahrain for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Bahrain and Ireland. The Irish delegation was headed by Matthew Elderfield (Head of Financial Regulation in the Central Bank of Ireland) and John Bruton (Chairman of Ireland's International Financial Services Centre) and included other representatives from Ireland's financial services industry.

The Memorandum of Understanding is set to pave the way for increased cooperation between the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Central Bank of Ireland and represents cooperation on the basis of mutual trust and understanding in the fields of supervision of financial institutions, investment and insurance businesses and collective investment schemes.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mr. Abdul Rahman Al Baker, Executive Director, Financial Institutions Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain and Matthew Elderfield.

Fionán Breathnach, Head of Investment Funds at Mason Hayes+Curran, welcomed this initiative:

"This co-operation between Ireland and Bahrain, and similar initiatives with Abu Dhabi and Dubai, will help to foster a familiarity between the regulators in Ireland and the Middle East and further highlights Ireland's commitment to developing an environment in which asset managers in the Middle East can domicile their international funds in Ireland".