Bahrain expects its economy to grow by 3 per cent in 2011 and recent unrest has not prompted international banks to leave the Gulf state, its central bank governor quoted as saying yesterday. The kingdom has no plans to change its interest rates which are in line with economic activity, the state news agency BNA reported Rasheed Al Maraj as saying. Al Maraj said there was no truth to \"rumours\" that international banks had left after the \"recent regrettable events\". \"The [central] bank has issued eight licences [for new financial institutions] since the beginning of the year and we deal with any request that meets the required conditions without delay,\" Al Maraj said. Article continues below Analysts in a Reuters poll slashed Bahrain\'s 2011 growth outlook in June for the second time in a row. Al Maraj said that the central bank\'s reserves of gold and hard currencies rose 11.5 per cent to 1.70 billion Bahraini dinars (Dh16.5 billion) at the end of April from 1.53 billion dinars at the end of March. Earlier in June, King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa approved a $16.44 billion budget for the next two years.