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BHD - Bahraini Dinar



The earliest references of currency in Bahrain include the first coins that were minted in the region in 8th century by the governors in the Umayyad dynasty. The coins didn’t have any specific values attached to them as in nowadays, but they were valued on the basis of the purity and weight of the metal that they were minted from. With time, Bahrain developed as a popular commercial center due to its location as it is one of the oldest trading routes between East and West. For this reason, a lot of foreign currencies started getting imported and got in circulation along with the locally minted coins. Also, it influenced the design and pattern of domestic coins to a large extent as more and more of local coins imitating the foreign coins were produced. Bahrain was the first gulf country that identified the use of coinage as a means to raise trading and financial activity.

In the first half of 20th century, gold and silver coins circulated in the bahrain in the form of gold British Sovereigns and silver Maria Theresa thalers. Also, Indian rupee was also used to great extent along with gold and silver coins. In 1959, the Persian gulf rupee was issued by the Reserve Bank of India for the use in the gulf countries so that drain of Indian rupee can be controlled and it replaced the Indian rupee. The persian gulf rupee was pegged to the Indian rupee and that is why when the Indian rupee was devalued in 1965, the value of Persian gulf rupee also came down and Bahrain had to resort to the induction of its own currency, Bahraini dinar. It was issued @ rate 1 Bahraini dinar = 10 persian gulf rupees. Bahrain Currency Board issued dinar banknotes for the country from 1964 to 1973. In 1973, Bahrain Monetary Agency, that is now called the Central Bank of Bahrain, was established and it took over the functions of Bahrain Currency Board for the now independent country and still in operation. In 1978, Qatar, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates signed an agreement which enforced a fixed exchange rate between the three currencies @ 10 Qatari riyals = 1 Bahraini dinar = 10 UAE dirhams. Upon the revaluation of its currency by Qatar, the agreement came to an end.

Bahraini dinar is yet another dinar currency that breaks down into 1000 equal parts of its subunit i.e. "fils" unlike most world currencies having subunits that value 1/100 of one unit of their respective currencies. The currency is issued in total 10 denominations, 4 in the form of paper currency and 6 in the form of coinage. The values 1 dinar and above circulate in the economy in the form of banknotes and the denominations below 1 dinar as coins. As it is counted among the highest valued currencies of the world, Bahraini dinar is just issued till 20 dinars that is the highest denomination. The 4 paper currency face values include BD1, BD 5, BD 10 and BD 20. The paper currency in Bahraini dinar is printed in a fixed size and it doesn’t vary according to the value of the banknotes. All these notes have different color schemes predominated by a separate color for each note so that the notes can be differentiated easily. On the front sides of the notes, the script is printed in Arabic language and the backside has scripts in English language. Also, the banknotes possess different images on their front and back sides, the pictures on the back relating to important buildings and places in Bahrain.

Currency Profile

Since 1965, the official currency for Bahrain has been the Bahraini Dinar (BHD). The symbol for the Dinar is BD; the Arabic symbol is "?. ?"Dinar is a unit of currency that is used in various countries as a medium of exchange, mostly lying in the gulf region including Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait and a few other non-Arabic countries like Algeria, Libya and Tunisia in Africa and Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia in the European continent. Also, Iranian rial has dinar as its sub unit that divides one unit into 100 equal parts. The word "dinar" has been derived from the name of an ancient Roman currency named "denarius". It is referred to as "denar" in Macedonia.

Among the above-mentioned dinar currencies, Bahraini dinar, and the currency unit serving Bahrain as its national currency, holds utmost importance. It is the third most highly valued currencies in the world after Bahraini Dinar and Malta lira. Like, Bahraini Dinar, Bahraini dinar breaks up into 1000 equal parts of its subunit "fils".Bahraini dinar’s currency code and numeric code as per ISO 4217 regulation are BHD and 048 respectively.

The small inland state, approximately in 3.5 times is more on the size of the city of Washington, District of Columbia, Bahrain geographically takes the central place among the neighbours, Gulf States. Its industry is based on oil extracting and oil refining, and also financial services and building. The exchange rate to US dollar for one dinar Bahrain is one of the most expensive currencies in the world.

The Bahrain economy is rated as the 10th freest economy in the world. Top industries are aluminum smelting, petroleum refining and processing, offshore banking coupled with Islamic banking, tourism, iron pillarization, ship repair, and fertilizers. Export products are petroleum, textiles, and aluminum. Petroleum accounts for 60% of export products. Import products are chemicals, machinery, and crude oil. Unemployment rate is estimated at plus or minus 3.8%; however, it is growing rapidly due to the depletion of oil resources. There is almost no agriculture activity in Bahrain; it accounts for only 0.3% of the total GDP. The country is working on diversifying its products and has a 15-year plan in place. Currently Bahrain is rated to be the fastest-growing economy of the Arab countries.

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