Bahrain's banking and financial industry totaled 327 institutions at the end of last year. The Kingdom's financial industry comprised 178 banking and banking service institutions and 149 insurance and insurance-related firms, reported the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA).
The BMA granted a total of 24 new licenses during 2002, compared with 15 in 2001. However, mainly due to mergers and consolidations within and between financial institutions, the total number of institutions grew by eight over 2001.
The assets of the banking industry are strong, standing at $103.8 billion at the end of September 2002. Banks in the country are required to have a capital adequacy ratio of 12 percent, which is higher than the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) requirement of eight percent.
Thee banking sector is comprised 23 full commercial banks (FCBs), 51 offshore banking units (OBUs), 36 investment banks, 31 representative offices, two specialized banks, 12 investment brokers, two ancillary services, four money brokers and 17 money changers, at the end of 2002.
The comparative figures for 2001 were 21 FCBs, 47 OBUs, 32 investment banks, 37 Representative Offices, two specialized banks, seven investment brokers, two ancillary services, four money brokers and 18 money-changers. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )