As of end-June 2006, total assets (net of due from head office/branches-abroad) of the 7 offshore banking units (OBUs) grew by a hefty 85.3 percent to US$2.3 billion from year ago’s US$1.3 billion. Growth came on the back of a 644.6 percent (or US$1.2 billion) surge in funds sourced from other banks abroad.
There was a marked shift in asset portfolio preference toward investments in bonds and other securities from loans and discounts. The former soared by 188.7 percent to US$1.4 billion at 30 June 2006 and held a 59.4 percent share (up from 37.5 percent a year ago) of assets, gross of allowance for probable losses. On the other hand, loans and discounts declined by 14.6 percent to US$0.6 billion and comprised 24.1 percent (from 51.5 percent) of total assets.
Meantime, lendings to residents fell by 69.4 percent to US$91 million and made up 16.0 percent of total loans and discounts. The transportation, storage and communications sector held the bulk of these loans at 26.2 percent (up from 12.1 percent same period last year) share. This was followed by the electricity, gas and water sector (15.1 percent, up from 11.6 percent) and by the manufacturing sector (10.7 percent, down from 55.5 percent).
Borrowings and/or placements from other banks-abroad expanded to US$1.3 billion from US$0.2 billion a year ago. These became the principal sources of funds, dislodging erstwhile due to head office/branches-abroad account, which fell by 25.9 percent to US$0.5 billion.