The Turkish economy does clearly demonstrate rebalancing, namely putting, improvement of external balance and adaptation of domestic demand to new prices in the economy following exchange rate depreciation. Release of New Economic Program, increase of the policy rate by the Central Bank, some improvement in political side have resulted in exchange rate to stabilize and even to appreciate further. It is obviuos that some economic fundamentals, including activity indicators like, industrial production, GDP growth, unemployment would see deterioration, but government’s proactive policy aspirations and dynamic nature of Turkish market increase the probability of rebound within the relatively short period of time.
Relative slowdown in economic activities are being reflected into the performance indicators of the overall banking system. Despite this trend, in the first nine months of the year, the total assets of the system has increased by 29% compared to 2018 year-end reaching TL 4,211 billion. The same trend was recorded in loan portfolio as well, where growth rate and amount equal to 23% and TL 2,588 billion, respecively. In addition, preventive prudential measures by the banking regulator with respect to managing currency risk in big companies borrowing in foreign currency has provided significant buffer for the times of high volatility in exchange rate.
We are proud to say that PASHA Bank as a dynamic market player keeps going on its healthy expansion with the pace of above the market. In general, continuous investment onto stregnthening of internal capabilities, starting from building core competencies for managing business to increasing human capital potential of the Bank, has already demonstrated its strategic return in the form of capable navigation through the stressful times.
As a result, the market share of the Bank has gone up, and its total assets have doubled and reached TL 1.588 million compared to the first nine months of prior year. Our cash loan and leasing receivables portfolio, comprising 58% of total assets, increased by 40% compared to same period of prior year and reached TL 918 million. Due to effective risk management framework, and prudent credit policy pursued by the Bank we have been successful in preserving zero level of NPL in our balance sheet. It is worth to underline that flexible revisiting of credit policy, adjusting tactics of credit and underwriting policy to the current realities of macroeconomic enviornment etc. are forming subtance of the overall risk approach of the Bank. As a reliable indication of trust to the Bank and the national economy, the Bank's paid-in capital has been increased by TL 245 million in cash to a total TL 500 million. Additionally, the Bank has acquired an investment property which is planned to be used as the headquarter in the future.
The year of 2018 is actually the beginning of new 2020 strategy of the Bank where the strategic objectives have been set like continuing as an investment bank, leveraging up, increasing profitability and achieving diversification. To achieve strategic objectives, the Bank would need to quickly build its balance sheet up. By the end of new strategic period, in 2020, aggressive growth of the business is envisaged where project finance, sale and leaseback and cash loans are supposed to be main drivers. All strategic targets and initiatives of the Bank are supposed to yield two-digit growth in main performance indicators, fast convergence to efficiency and profitability metrics vis-a-vis the benchmark and reliable business partner in supporting regional economic relationships. In overall, the designed stratgey of the Bank doesn’t only cover impressive bottomline performance, in addition, it focuses on introducing totally different value proposition to the market, which in turn acquire its aspiration from the values of the Bank and the shareholders.
In order to execute the strategy successfully we would allocate substantial investments in strgenthening internal capabilities, including employee development, information technology, risk management, credit management, fund raising, talent acquisition etc. It is extremly important to remind that initiatives by the Bank with respect to strenthening risk management capacity is proved to be very preventive considering current market challenges and supportive providing transition in provisioning (IFRS 9).
We will continue to make efforts to diversify bank’s funding structure and expand our correspondent network and investor base. We will maintain our prudent approach to managing credit risks so that the asset quality of the Bank is not affected by the current environment characterized with increasing tensions and stress in the market. We shall continue our efforts of offering products and services that are tailored to our customers’ needs to make banking experience a gainful experience with PASHA Bank.
I am truly looking forward to share prosperous operating environment with all stakeholders which provides enourmous benefit to all parts, and serves to build business relationships based on mutual interest. to have an operating environment supported with stability at macro level and shared prosperity of stakeholders at micro level. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued employees and our management team for their dedicated professional work, our customers for their confidence in PASHA Bank and our shareholders and all business partners for their valuable support. It is definitely their goodwill that renews our belief in ourselves and our potential to be more.