Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain – 18 June 2023 – The Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) Board of Directors held its second meeting for the year 2023, chaired by Mr. Hassan Khalifa Al Jalahma on Sunday, 18 June 2023.
The Board reviewed the topics on the agenda covering CBB’s performance report and the developments in the financial sector for the second quarter of 2023, the CBB’s financial performance report, and the progress made regarding the Financial Services Sector Development Strategy.
In addition, CBB Board emphasized the importance of following up with the initiatives stated in the strategy, and to coordinate with the relevant parties in the financial sector concerning the initiatives related to improving the financial services, digitization, and provide proper training to the manpower in the sector. CBB’s Board of Director Chairman expressed his gratitude and appreciation to H.R.H Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for H.R.H. continuous support and guidance to improve the financial services sector.
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 April 2023, an increase of 5.0% compared to the end of April 2022. As for retail banks, total private deposits increased to BD13.8 billion at the end of April 2023, an increase of 7.9% compared to the end of April 2022. The outstanding balance of total loans and credit facilities extended to resident economic sectors increased to BD11.5 billion at the end of April 2023, an increase of 3.0% compared to the end of April 2022, with the Business Sector accounting for 44.3% and the Personal Sector at 51.1% of total loans and credit facilities. The balance sheet of the banking system (retail banks and wholesale sector banks) increased to $225.6 billion at the end of April 2023, an increase of 3.1% compared to the end of April 2022.
Point of Sales (POS) data indicated an increase in the number of transactions during the five months of 2023 (January – May 2023), totaling 73.0 million transactions (77.0% of which were contactless), an increase of 14.8% compared to the same period in 2022. The total value of POS transactions in Bahrain during the five months of 2023 (January – May 2023) totaled BD 1.7 billion (50.2% of which were contactless), an increase of 8.6% compared to the same period in 2022. These developments reflect the growing economic activities during the first five months of this year compared with the same period of last year.
The banking sector maintained a high level of capital adequacy and liquidity, as the capital adequacy ratio of the banking sector reached 19.1% in Q1 2023. The capital adequacy ratio for the various banking sectors was 21.3% for conventional retail banks, 16.9% for conventional wholesale banks, 21.3% for Islamic retail banks, and 16.1% for Islamic wholesale banks.
The total number of registered Collective Investment Undertakings (CIUs) as of the end May 2023 stood in 1773 CIUs. The net asset value (NAV) of the CIUs increased from US$ 11.0 billion in Q1 2022 to US$ 11.7 billion in Q1 2023, reflecting an increase of 6.9%. Moreover, the NAV of overseas domiciled CIUs increased from US$ 5.0 billion in Q1 2022 to US$ 6.4 billion in Q1 2023, an increase of 28.4%.