News Column

Bahrain banks' balance sheet rises to $192.6bn

July 17, 2014

MANAMA: The consolidated balance sheet of the banking system in Bahrain, comprising retail and wholesale banks, stood at $192.6 billion at the end of March this year, according to Central Bank of Bahrain data.

This was a slight increase over the consolidated balance sheet of $192bn at the end of December last year.

Retail banks represented 40.2pc of the consolidated balance sheet at March-end, with an aggregate balance sheet of BD29.1bn ($77.4bn).

This was an increase of 2.8pc over a balance sheet of $75.3bn at December-end last year and 4.7pc over March last year.

The aggregate balance sheet of wholesale banks stood at $115.2bn in March, a decline of 1.3pc over a balance sheet of $116.7bn at the end of December last year.

Total domestic assets of the banking system grew to $49.5bn in March, from $48.7bn in December last year.

Foreign assets only marginally declined to $143.1bn in March, from $143.3bn in the previous quarter.

Total domestic liabilities of the banking system totalled $51.1bn in March, compared with $50.5bn in December, while foreign liabilities remained almost unchanged at $141.5bn.

Bahrain's retail banking system continued to post steady growth, both in its loan portfolio as well as assets, reflecting the healthy growth of the domestic economy.

Domestic assets of retail banks stood at BD15.8bn, while foreign assets amounted to BD13.3bn in March.

Domestic liabilities stood at BD15.4bn, while foreign liabilities amounted to BD13.7bn.

Total deposits at retail banks stood at BD15.3bn in March, an increase of 2.7pc over the December figure of BD14.9bn.

Total outstanding loans and advances extended to residents by retail banks increased by 1.4pc to BD7.3bn in March, from BD7.2bn in the previous quarter.

Of the total loans at March-end, 60pc were in the form of business lending, while the personal and government sectors accounted for 37.6pc and 2.4pc respectively.

The distribution of the loans to business indicate that 21.2pc was extended to the construction and real estate sector, 15.7pc to the trade sector and 11.5pc to 'other' sectors, which include the hospitality industry and the transportation sector.

The manufacturing industry received 8.8pc of the loans.

The aggregate balance sheet of Bahrain's Islamic banks (retail and wholesale) stood at $24.2bn in March, compared with $23.3bn at the end of the previous quarter.

Domestic assets stood at $13.8bn in March, while foreign assets amounted to $10.4bn.

Money supply in Bahrain's economy, represented by M2 (currency in circulation and demand, time and saving deposits) rose to BD9.4bn in March, from nearly BD9.2bn at the end of December last year. By the broader monetary measure M3 (which includes M2 as well as government deposits) stood at BD11.25bn in March, only marginally higher than the BD11.21bn level registered in the previous quarter.

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Source: Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)

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