Manama, Oct. 22 (BNA): The Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) Board of Directors held its third meeting for the year 2023, chaired by Hassan Khalifa Al Jalahma.
The board commenced the meeting by extending their appreciation to Rasheed bin Mohammed Al Maraj for his fruitful efforts during his tenure as Governor of CBB. They also praised his initiatives and accomplishments, which greatly impacted the development of CBB and the improvement of employee competencies in handling various responsibilities and contributing to continuous prosperity. The board also expressed their best wishes to Al Maraj in future endeavours.
The board congratulated Khalid bin Ebrahim Humaidan on obtaining the royal trust in appointing him as Governor of CBB, wishing him success in further developing CBB in order to achieve the desired goals.
They reviewed the topics on the agenda covering the performance report and developments in the financial sector for the third quarter of 2023 and the CBB’s financial performance report.
The Board also reviewed key monetary and banking indicators for the previous months, which proved the stability of the banking sector despite the fluctuations in global financial markets due to the increase in interest rates and continued quantitative tightening.
On the local front, the money supply increased to BD15.8 billion at the end of August, an increase of 3.8% compared to the end of August 2022. As for retail banks, total private deposits increased to BD13.9 billion at the end of April, an increase of 3.1% compared to the end of August 2022.
The outstanding balance of total loans and credit facilities extended to resident economic sectors increased to BD11.6 billion at the end of August, an increase of 1.8% compared to the end of August 2022, with the Business Sector accounting for 43.2% and the Personal Sector at 50.9% of total loans and credit facilities.
The balance sheet of the banking system (retail banks and wholesale sector banks) increased to $224.7 billion at the end of August, an increase of 0.1% compared to the end of August 2022.
Point of Sales (POS) data indicated an increase in the number of transactions during the eight months of 2023 (January – August), totalling 119.4 million transactions (77.6% of which were contactless), an increase of 14.6% compared to the same period in 2022.
The total value of POS transactions in Bahrain during the eight months of 2023 (January – August) totalled BD 2.7 billion (50.9% of which were contactless), an increase of 7.6% compared to the same period in 2022.
The banking sector maintained a high level of capital adequacy and liquidity, as the capital adequacy ratio of the banking sector reached 19.3% in Q2 2023. The capital adequacy ratios for the various banking sectors were 21.7% for conventional retail banks, 17.0% for conventional wholesale banks, 21.4% for Islamic retail banks, and 17.2% for Islamic wholesale banks.
The total number of Collective Investment Undertakings (CIUs) stood at 1667 CIUs as of the end of September. The total net asset value (NAV) of the CIUs decreased from $11.8 billion in Q2 2022 to $10.7 billion in Q2 2023, reflecting a decrease of 9.3%.
The NAV of the overseas domiciled CIUs decreased from $6.4 billion in Q2 2022 to US$ 6.3 billion in Q2 2023, a decrease of 1.6%. Furthermore, the NAV of the Shari’a compliant CIUs increased from $1.2 billion in Q2 2022 to $1.4 billion in Q2 2023, reflecting an increase of 16.7%.
As for the Insurance sector, gross premiums (conventional and Takaful) generated in the domestic market amounted to BD151.5 million in the six months ended June 30, showing a growth rate of around 3.1%, with general insurance business (including medical insurance business) contributing to around 90% of the gross premiums written for the same period of 2023.
Total gross premiums of the Medical insurance have increased from BD46.78 million in the six months ended June 30, 2022, to BD52.31 million in the same period of 2023, showing an increase of around 12%. Medical insurance is the largest in terms of total gross premiums, which represented around 35% of the total gross premiums written in the period ending June 30.
The total gross premiums in the Motor insurance class increased by 8% to reach BD38.89 million in the period ended June 30 compared to BD36.06 million in the same period of 2022.
Motor insurance is the second largest class of insurance in terms of gross premiums, which represented around 26% of the total premiums written in the period, ended June 30.
Life insurance and savings products (Long-term insurance) generated gross premiums amounting to BD15.90 million in the six months ended June 30 compared to BD23.32 million in the same period of 2022. The long-term insurance premiums represented 10% of the total gross premiums written by the insurance market in Bahrain in the six months ended June 30.
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