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Bahrain's banking sector is booming.

MANAMA: Bahrain's banking industry continued to grow in the second quarter of the year with the total consolidated balance sheet of all the banks increasing by 6.7 per cent since the end of March.

The consolidated balance sheet of the banking system increased by $17 billion to reach $269.5bn at the end of June, compared with $252.5bn at the end of March, Central Bank of Bahrain statistics reveal.

Over the past 12 months, the balance sheet of the banking system increased by 26.6pc.

Wholesale banks represented 77.4pc of this sheet, while retail banks accounted for the remaining 22.6pc.

The retail banks saw their balance sheets increased by BD2.42bn ($6.42bn), or by 11.9pc, to reach BD22.83bn at the end of June, compared with BD20.40bn at the end of March.

In the past year, the balance sheet has increased by 44pc.

Total domestic assets amounted to $49.4bn at the end of June, compared with $420bn at end-March, an increase of $7.4bn or 17.6pc.

Foreign assets increased by $9.6bn or 4.6pc to reach $220.1bn at end-June, compared with $210.5bn at end-March.

Total domestic liabilities amounted to $55.3bn at the end of June, compared with $47.5bn at end-March, an increase of $7.8bn or 16.4pc.

Foreign liabilities increased by $9.2bn or 4.5pc to reach $214.2bn at end-June, compared with $205bn at end-March.

Total outstanding loans provided to residents by retail banks increased by BD454.2 million or 9.8pc to BD5077.3m at end-June, compared with BD4623.1m at end-March.

The sectoral distribution of total outstanding loans indicates that 57.1pc were in the form of business lending, while personal and government sectors accounted for 38.3pc and 4.6pc respectively.

Domestic deposits increased by BD626.1m or 9.4pc from BD6.66bn at the end of March to BD7.29bn at the end of June. This was due to an increase in private sector deposits by BD553m or 9.7pc and government deposits by BD73.1m or 7.6pc.

Wholesale banking balance sheets increased by $10.5bn or 5.3pc to reach $208.7bn at the end of June, compared with $198.2bn at the end of March. Wholesale banking grew by 22.3pc over the past 12 months.

At the end of June, the share of GCC countries, excluding Bahrain, in wholesale banks assets was 33.9pc, Western Europe 36.7pc, the Americas 11.5pc and Asia 3.3pc.

In terms of currency composition, the GCC currencies, excluding the Bahrain dinar, the US dollar and the euro represented 12.4pc, 62.6pc and 12.3pc of total assets respectively.

The money supply in the system, represented by the broad M3 measure, increased by 6pc in the first quarter of the year and 8pc in the second quarter.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Aug 5, 2008
Words:493
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