ANKARA

Turkey’s banking sector recorded 15.8 billion Turkish liras ($2.4 billion) net profit in March, the country’s banking watchdog said Thursday.

The figure jumped 26.2% from 12.5 billion Turkish liras ($2.23 million) in the same month last year, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency data showed.

Total assets of the sector amounted to 4.9 trillion Turkish liras ($744.5 billion), up 17.8% year-on-year.

Loans, the biggest sub-category of assets, totaled 2.9 trillion Turkish liras ($442.6 billion), a 15% rise from last year’s figure.

On the liabilities side, deposits held at lenders in Turkey — the largest liabilities item — totaled 2.8 trillion Turkish liras ($427.6 billion), rising 26.7% on an annual basis.

The US dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was around 6.3 as of March 30, versus around 5.8 at the end of last March.

Pointing to lenders’ minimum capital requirements, the banking sector’s regulatory capital-to-risk-weighted-assets ratio — the higher the better — was 17.90% by the end of last month, up from 16.38% in the same period last year.

The ratio of non-performing loans to total cash loans — the lower the better — stood at 4.96% in March, versus 4.04% year-on-year.

As of end-March, 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 203,343 employees, serving through 11,344 branches both in Turkey and overseas with some 49,444 ATMs.

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