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Economy poised for growth despite global uncertainties: BDCB

Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) has released its first semi-annual policy statement for 2024, highlighting positive economic growth prospects amidst global and domestic developments.

According to the statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipates a sustained global growth rate of 3.2 per cent through 2024 and 2025. Domestically, Brunei’s economy saw a robust 6.8 per cent expansion in the first quarter of 2024, driven notably by an 8.9 per cent growth in the Oil and Gas Sector and a 5.0 per cent increase in the Non-Oil and Gas Sector.

Looking ahead, BDCB projects continued economic growth in 2024, albeit with caution due to potential downside risks such as fluctuating commodity prices and reduced production levels of crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

PHOTO: Yasuhiro Kochi

Monetary policy in the region is expected to gradually ease later in the year, aligning with broader economic conditions. Meanwhile, BDCB has maintained a conservative inflation forecast for Brunei Darussalam, projecting a range of -0.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent based on current Consumer Price Index (CPI) data.

In the financial sector, total assets increased by 2.9 per cent to BND24.6 billion in the first quarter of 2024, with the Islamic finance sector contributing significantly at BND14.5 billion. Deposit-taking institutions continue to dominate, holding 91.7 per cent of the total financial sector assets with BND22.5 billion in assets. Despite a minor dip in profitability, the banking industry maintains a robust aggregate Capital Adequacy Ratio of 20.9 per cent.

Furthermore, BDCB has introduced amendments to facilitate the adoption of ASEAN Sustainability-Linked Bonds Standards and issued guidelines for reporting financial sector manpower data, aiming to address emerging employment trends and skills gaps.

The full BDCB Policy Statement 1/2024 is available on the BDCB website.

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