Business: Bankers in Burnooses

Cautious but well heeled, Arab moneymen enter world finance

Bankers still do not mention it in the same breath with Tokyo, Zurich, London or New York. But some day they may. Bahrain, a small Arabian Gulf island sheikdom off the oil-rich coast of Saudi Arabia, is rapidly becoming an important financial center. Since the 1973 quadrupling of petroleum prices, 120 banks, including such international giants as Bank of America, Citibank, Chase Manhattan and Bank of Tokyo, have opened offices in Bahrain to handle the gusher of oil money flowing into the Arab world.

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