Manama, Dec. 10 (BNA): The Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) Board of Directors today held its fourth meeting for the year 2023, chaired by Hassan Khalifa Al Jalahma.
The Chairman commenced the meeting by congratulating His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on the occasion of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s celebration of its National Days, in commemoration of the establishment of the modern Bahraini State as an Arab, Muslim state founded by Ahmed Al Fateh in 1783, and the anniversary of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s Accession to the Throne.
The Board reviewed the topics on the agenda, including the performance report and developments in the financial sector for the fourth quarter of 2023. The Board also reviewed the progress with regards to the Financial Services Sector Development Strategy, and the CBB’s estimated budget and investment policy for the year 2024.
The Board of Directors welcomed the eGovernment Excellence Award 2023 for “Best Work Environment for Digital Innovation” granted to CBB for its Innovation Lab. The award was announced during the honoring ceremony organized by the Information and eGovernment Authority held under the patronage of HE General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior, Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Information and Communication Technology (MCICT).
The Board also welcomed the Informatics Badge of Honor 2023 conferred on CBB by the Board of Trustees of HH Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award in recognition of its achievements in digital payments, fintech and innovation. It is worth noting that the Informatics Badge of Honor is considered the highest award category conferred annually, noting that HH Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award is an independent and non-profit initiative which recognizes pioneers in the field of informatics and digital culture regionally and globally.
The Board also reviewed key monetary and banking indicators for the year including the money supply that increased to BD 15.7 billion at the end of October 2023, an increase of 3.7% compared to the end of October 2022. As for retail banks, total private deposits increased to BD13.9 billion at the end of October 2023, an increase of 4.1% compared to the end of October 2022. The outstanding balance of total loans and credit facilities extended to resident economic sectors increased to BD11.6 billion at the end of October 2023, an increase of 2.0% compared to the end of October 2022, with the Business Sector accounting for 43.6% and the Personal Sector at 50.3% of total loans and credit facilities. The balance sheet of the banking system (retail banks and wholesale sector banks) increased to $229.4 billion at the end of October 2023, an increase of 3.1% compared to the end of October 2022.
Point of Sales (POS) data indicated an increase in the number of transactions during the eight months of 2023 (January – October 2023), totaling 151.0 million transactions (77.5% of which were contactless), an increase of 13.1% compared to the same period in 2022. The total value of POS transactions in Bahrain during the eight months of 2023 (January – October 2023) totaled BD 3.4 billion (50.5% of which were contactless), an increase of 7.0% compared to the same period in 2022. These developments reflect the growing economic activities during the first ten months of this year compared with the same period of last year.
The banking sector maintained a high level of capital adequacy and liquidity, as the capital adequacy ratio of the banking sector reached 19.4% as end of Q3 2023. The capital adequacy ratios for the various banking sectors were 21.7% for conventional retail banks, 17.2% for conventional wholesale banks, 20.5% for Islamic retail banks, and 17.9% for Islamic wholesale banks.
The total number of Collective Investment Undertakings (CIUs) stood at 1,672 CIUs as end of October 2023. The total net asset value (NAV) of the CIUs decreased from US$ 11.5 billion as end of Q3 2022 to US$ 10.9 billion as end of Q3 2023, reflecting a decrease of 5.2%. Moreover, the NAV of the overseas domiciled CIUs increased from US$ 6.0 billion as end of Q3 2022 to US$ 6.6 billion as end of Q3 2023, an increase of 10.0%. Furthermore, the NAV of the Shari’a compliant CIUs increased from US$ 1.2 billion as end of Q3 2022 to US$ 1.7 billion as end of Q3 2023, reflecting an increase of 41.7%.
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