Bahrain banking sector posts 32% growth

12 November 2007
Bahrain’s banking system has continued to grow significantly over the past year, with total assets held by the country’s banks hitting $222.4 bn at the end of September 2007, an increase of 32.1 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Of this only $34.7 bn was held by domestically, while $187.7 bn was foreign assets held by Bahraini licensed banks, indicating Bahrain’s success at attracting foreign instiutions to licence themselves in Manama.

Outstanding loans by retail banks to Bahraini citizens increased by 12.3 per cent to $1.13 bn during the last three months as banks looked to expand their retail lending portfolio’s to make up for lost stock market related income.

Of the country’s overall lending, around 60 per cent was to the corporate sector, 36.4 per cent was to individuals, and 5.1 per cent was to the government.

Wholesale banks represented 80 per cent of banking assets held in the financial system, with retail banks holding 20 per cent.

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