CBB holds its fifth board meeting for 2021 (December 12, 2021)


Published on 12 December 2021

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain – December 12, 2021 – The Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) held its fifth meeting for the year 2021, chaired by Mr. Hassan Khalifa Al-Jalahma, on Sunday, December 12, 2021.

The President began the meeting by congratulating on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the CBB, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister at the occasion of the national holiday.

The Board considered the agenda items and approved the 2022 budget. The Board also praised the economic stimulus package recently approved by Cabinet, which also covers the Financial Sector Strategy. The role of the financial sector will be essential in providing the necessary financing for the development projects described in the plan. The Board also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the banking sector over the past two years in providing support and assistance to reduce the debt burden of individuals and businesses, and underlined the importance of continuing the cooperation between the CBB and the sector to facilitate the implementation of the financial sector strategy and to support the economic sectors in the coming period.

The Board reviewed the development of the financial sector for the second half of 2021 in the light of the resumption of economic activities. Bank deposits increased by 4.7% and loans by 3.5%, compared to the same period of the previous year until October.

The banking sector has maintained an average solvency ratio of 20%, above the level required by the Basel 3 standard.

Point of Sale (POS) data showed an increase in the number of transactions over the past three months (August-October 2021), totaling 35.4 million transactions (68.9% contactless), an increase of 60.3% compared to the same period in 2020. the total value of POS transactions totaled BD 866.4 million (42.2% contactless), an increase of 43.4% compared to the same period in 2020.

The Board also reviewed S&P’s recent rating report on the Kingdom of Bahrain, which downgraded the outlook from negative to stable with a sovereign credit rating of “B +”. This change in perspective reflects the measures taken by the government to close the budget deficit and the implementation of the new Balanced Budget Program. The Council expressed satisfaction with this positive development, which reflects an improvement in the economic and financial indicators of the Kingdom of Bahrain during the year.

The Board concluded its meeting by expressing its gratitude to the staff of the CBB for their efforts during this year, which have contributed to the maintenance of financial stability and the development of the financial sector.

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