Bahrain’s banking sector, in recent months, has witnessed the fastest credit growth in the GCC, according to findings. The most recent data has revealed that Bahrain’s banks have recorded the fastest credit growth when compared to other GCC countries. With new lending led by the corporate sector, business loans have grown 10.8 percent in August and personal loans grew by an annual 8.6pc.
The data was revealed by the Economic Development Board (EDB) in its third quarter report of the Bahrain Economic Quarterly. It was also revealed that after a period of brisk acceleration, bank lending growth is ‘normalising somewhat’. “In recent months, Bahrain has seen the fastest pace of credit growth by retail banks in the entire GCC region. The most recent data suggests that this rapid escalation is now giving way to a period of greater stability.
The YoY rate of credit growth by retail banks, having peaked at 11.5pc in June, moderated to just under 10pc in August. Nonetheless, this represents the fastest pace in the GCC region. “Encouragingly, new lending continues to be led by the corporate sector with business loans growing by 10.8pc YoY in August and making up 53.7pc of the entire outstanding portfolio of retail banks.
Personal loans grew by an annual 8.6pc and made up 43.4pc of the total. Lending to the Government sector expanded by an annual 15.2pc but only accounted for 2.9pc of total retail bank lending,” the report stated.