Cabinet looks at Central Bank’s reportYemen’s bank surpluses grow [Archives:2005/824/Business & Economy]

March 14 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) says that Yemen has achieved trade surpluses, giving more confidence in Yemeni economic performance.

Surplus in the balance of trade rose to $937 million in 2004 compared to $368 million in 2003.

In a report to the cabinet, the CBY also said that the surplus in total payments is $532 million, against a surplus of $336 million in 2003. That has been reflected on total foreign reserves of the CBY.

At the end of 2003, they rose from $4.7 billion to around $5.4 billion at the end of 2004.

Meanwhile, foreign indebtedness, as a proportion of the gross domestic product, dropped from 48 per cent at the end of 2003 to 42 per cent at the end of 2004. This makes Yemen among the least indebted countries in the region.

The CBY report said that the total budget of the Yemeni banking sector rose from YR 540 billion by the end of 2003 to around YR 660 billion at the end of the year 2004, a growth of 22.4 per cent.

National banks have taken possession of about 67 per cent of the total banking activity and the Arab bank of about 32 per cent.

As for the total amount of deposits assets in the Yemeni banking sector at the end of December 2004, they amounted to YR 576 billion against YR 476 billion at the end of December 2003, an increase of YR 100 billion.

In addition, the assets of loans and financing offered by commercial banks to various economic sectors rose to YR 184 billion by the end of December 2004 against YR 138 billion by the end of December 2003, an increase of YR 46 billion.

The Yemeni cabinet has highly evaluated the efforts exerted by the CBY, which has helped gain stability in exchange prices, building suitable reserves and founding a healthy banking sector.

The cabinet has also expressed willingness to support the CBY measures and policies, and affirmed the necessity of proceeding in the program for restructuring the general, mixed and commercial banks by raising their capitals or by merging.

The cabinet stressed the necessity that capital of commercial banks should not be less than YR 6 billion, besides the acceleration in changing the bank of cooperative and agricultural lending into a bank of development.