Yemen 2nd in regional free market economies [Archives:2005/815/Business & Economy]

February 10 2005

International banking organizations have announced that Yemen occupies the second position among regional free market economies because of its adherence to the instructions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The Central Bank of Yemen says that bank reserves reached US$5.7 billion by the end of last year, an increase of $US690 million from the previous year. The balance of payments achieved a surplus of around $US745 million, and the percentage of foreign debt decreased by six per cent of the total domestic product.

The banking sector also achieved increases in deposit balances to YR576 billion, an increase of more than Y.R.100 billion, and private sector loans increased to YR183 billion, an increase of YR83 billion.

The capital of banks operating in Yemen has increased from YR31 billion to YR37 billion. The inflation average decreased from 6-13% in 2003, to less than 10% in 2004.

The banking sector has also witnessed improvement in automatic cash machines, the number of which are expected to reach to 260 this year.