The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) on Tuesday released its second quarterly report ending June 30, 2012, reporting stable growth in total assets, loans, and deposits in the West African country's banking sector. The CBL in its quarterly Financial and Economic Bulletin said the banking industry continues to be well capitalized and liquid.
But the CBL report however noted that profitability remains a challenge due to poor asset quality of a number of banks as a result of general macroeconomic environment and high loan loss provisions driven by weak credit administration.
The report indicates that the banking industry's balance sheet, in terms of total assets, expanded by 6.9 percent to 783.0 million U.S dollars compared to the first quarter. According to the bulletin, on year-on-year basis, total assets grew by 28.9 percent when matched with the corresponding period in 2011.
The CBL in the report said total capital increased 5.1 percent against the amount reported at the end of March 2012.
"The industry's capital position, however, increased by 3.7 percent above the same quarter of 2011.Overall, the growth rates reflect continuous confidence in the banking system, increased financial deepening and accelerated economic activities," the CBL said.
The CBL said the industry's Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) declined during the review quarter due largely to surge in risk assets, particularly off-balance sheet exposure by more than 55.0 percent.
The report said non-performing loans as ratio of total loans in the industry decreased from 23.6 percent to 19.6 percent at the end of June 2012 adding it decreased from 55.2 million dollars to 47.0 dollars.
According to the CBL, at the end of June 2012, the banking industry recorded gross earnings of 35.4 million dollars and operating profit of 8.7 million dollars before loan loss provisions and taxes, reflecting an improvement of 16.7 percent in gross earnings and 18.0 percent decline in operating profit compared with the corresponding quarter in 2011.