Bahrain's banking sector profits more than doubled in 2003
Bahrain's 29 incorporated commercial, investment and offshore banks, both conventional and Islamic, posted net profits totaling $714.8 million for 2003, an increase of 134 percent over the 2002 profit of $305.6 million.
Commercial banks represented 24 percent of 2003 profits, while the share of offshore banks and investment banks was 48.5 percent and 27.5 percent respectively, according to a BMA press release.
Conventional full commercial banks (FCBs) saw their collective profits surge 36 percent to $153.4 million for 2003, from $112.7 million the previous year. Total assets of conventional FCBs stood at $8.4 billion at 2003-end, compared with $7.9 billion at 2002-end.
The 2003 profits of conventional investment banks (IBs) soared to $116 million, from $4.9 million in 2002. The increase was due mainly to the return to profitability of two major investment banks, Investcorp and TAIB Bank, both of which posted losses in 2002.
Total assets of conventional IBs remained unchanged at about $5.8 billion at 2003-end. Profits of conventional offshore banking units (OBUs) rose by 218 percent to $331.4 million in 2003, from $104 million for 2002.
The surge was mainly due to the return to traditional levels of profitability of Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) and strong increases in profits of the Gulf International Bank (GIB) and Ahli United Bank (AUB). Assets of conventional OBUs stood at nearly $54 billion at 2003-end, compared with $50.3 billion at 2002-end.
Bahrain's Islamic banking industry continued to perform well, with an overall surge of 35.5 percent in net profits to $113.8 million for 2003, compared to $84 million in 2002. Profits of Islamic IBs rose 23 percent to $80.3 million in 2003, from $65.3 million in 2002. Total assets, including restricted investment accounts, of Islamic IBs stood at $2.7 billion at 2003-end, compared with $2.1 billion at 2002-end.
Profits of Islamic commercial banks doubled to $18.4 million in 2003, from $9.2 million in 2002. Assets of Islamic commercial banks totaled $1.3 billion at 2003-end, compared with US$996 million at 2002-end.
Profits of Islamic OBUs grew 59 percent to $15.1 million in 2003, from $9.5 million in 2002, while their assets stood at $2.2 billion at 2003-end, compared with two billion dollars at 2002-end.
Bahrain is the financial capital of the Middle East, hosting the largest concentration of financial institutions in the region. The BMA, the Kingdom's central bank, currently licenses a total of 362 institutions, of which 186 are banks and banking-related institutions, 163 insurance and insurance-related firms and 13 capital market brokers. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)