UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's banking sector's net profit totaled 38 billion Turkish liras ($5.94 billion) this January-August, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) announced on Monday.
According to the banking watchdog, the sector's eight-month net profit surged 14.3 percent, compared with around 33.3 billion Turkish liras ($9.7 billion) in the same period in 2017.
The BDDK figures showed that total assets of the banking sector amounted to nearly 4.5 trillion Turkish liras ($700 billion) as of August this year, up 50.2 percent increase on a yearly basis.
The biggest sub-category of assets, loans given by the sector, reached 2.7 trillion Turkish liras ($421 billion) at the end of August, rising 38.3 percent year-on-year.
On the liabilities side, deposits at the country's lenders climbed 39 percent over the same period, totaling 2.2 trillion Turkish liras ($348 billion).
The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was around 6.40 at the end of this August, while one dollar traded for some 3.45 liras at the end of August 2017.
As a significant indicator for calculating lenders' minimum capital requirements, the banking sector's regulatory capital-to-risk-weighted-assets ratio was 17.34 percent this August, up from 17.18 percent in August 2017.
The ratio of non-performing loans to total cash loans — another crucial indicator that shows how healthy the banking sector is — showed improvement in August, falling to 2.85 percent from 3.12 percent in the same month last year.
In Turkey, as of this August nearly 50 state/private/foreign lenders, including deposit banks, participation banks, and development and investment banks, had over 11,600 domestic and overseas branches with more than 210,000 employees.
Last year, the Turkish banking sector's net profit hit an all-time high, reaching around 49 billion Turkish liras ($13 billion) — a yearly increase of 30.8 percent.