By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s banking sector recorded 15.1 billion Turkish liras ($2.4 billion) net profits as of end-February, the country's banking watchdog said Monday.
Total assets of the sector jumped 20% year-on-year to 4.7 trillion Turkish liras ($759.7 billion), the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) report revealed.
Loans, the biggest sub-category of assets, amounted to 2.8 trillion Turkish liras ($447 billion), a 14.5% rise from last year.
On the liabilities side, deposits held at lenders in Turkey — the largest liabilities item — totaled 2.7 trillion Turkish liras ($433.6 billion), rising 29% on an annual basis.
The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira (USD/TRY) exchange rate was around 6.24 as of Feb. 28, versus around 5.30 at the end of last February.
Pointing to lenders' minimum capital requirements, the banking sector's regulatory capital-to-risk-weighted-assets ratio — the higher the better — was 17.71% by the end last month, up from 17.01% in the same period last year.
The ratio of non-performing loans to total cash loans — the lower the better — stood at 5.20% in the same period, versus 4.11% a year ago.
As of end-February, a total of 51 state/private/foreign lenders — including deposit banks, participation banks, and development and investment banks — operated in the Turkish banking sector.
The sector had 204,204 employees, serving through 11,361 branches both in Turkey and overseas with some 49,507 ATMs.