RIGA - The aggregate assets of Baltic commercial banks last year grew by 21.1 percent, or 3.7 billion euros, to 21.5 billion euros, according to a summary by Latvijas Unibanka experts.
Latvia's banking sector maintained its domination, with assets amounting to 8.8 billion euros at the end of 2003. This was 16.7 more than a year earlier, although in lat-terms the growth was an astonishing 29.3 percent.
In Lithuania, banking assets totaled 6.3 billion euros as of Dec. 31, rising 28.3 percent from the end of 2002, while month-on-month growth in euros from December to November was 6.2 percent.
Meanwhile, Estonian banking assets reached 6.3 billion euros at the end of the year, 20.7 percent higher than the previous year and a 5.7 percent increase from November 2003.
As of the end of 2003, the share of Latvian banks in aggregate Baltic banking assets was 41.4 percent (42.8 percent late 2002), Lithuanian banks' 29.4 percent (27.8 percent) and Estonian banks' 29.3 percent (29.4 percent).
Latvia has 22 banks and one foreign bank branch, while in Lithuania there are 10 banks and two foreign bank branches, and Estonia has six banks and one foreign branch.