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30.10.2008 Business & Finance

Banks post strong growth

By Daily Guide

The banking sector continues to show dominance in the Ghanaian economy as it made significant strides for the first nine months of the year.

According to the latest report of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana on the economy, the banking sector showed strong asset growth and profitability from January to September.

Importantly, total assets of the industry stood at GH¢9.676 billion in September 2008, a growth of 36.0 percent, compared with GH¢7.114 billion for the same period in 2007.

According to the report, the growth in assets was funded mainly by deposits which amounted to GH¢6.238 billion, an annual growth of 45.2 percent.

This may be compared with a deposit growth of 42.7 percent for the same period in 2007.

There was however an increase in total borrowings domestic and foreign- from GH¢ 1.075 billion in the year to September 2007 to GH¢1.256 billion in the year to September 2008.

According to the MPC report, all the financial indicators of the banking industry, measured in terms of earnings, portfolio quality, liquidity and capital adequacy remained strong into the third quarter of 2008.

With regard to credit to the private sector, GH¢ 1.572 billion was made available to enterprises and individuals.

In all, the private sector accounted for 96.6 percent of the total credit flow. Enterprises accounted for 73 percent of the increase. in credit, up from 67 percent for the same period in 2007 while share of households dip to 22 percent, from the previous 31 percent.

Evidence also continued to show that banks increased availability of credit to households but credit for house purchases tightened in the third quarter of2008.

The report also pointed to increased pace in economic activity in the non-financial sector with cement production increasing by 17.1 percent to 1,649,190 metric tons.

Similarly, benchmark retail sales recorded a growth of 40.3 percent compared with sales for the same period in 2007.

Labour market statistics also showed relatively strong demand for labour with a total of 9, 498 jobs advertised, compared with 5,980 for the same period in 2007.

Generally, the Bank of Ghana said, the strong performance of the economy reflected in the activities of the non financial corporate sector.