2023 began with an intense agenda: the earthquake disaster of 6 February2023, which affected 11 of our cities, followed by the parliamentary and presidential elections. As we continue to work to ensure relief following the earthquake in the Q3, we have monitored and revised our strategies as necessary under the influence of ever-changing global and local developments.
Following the pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine has reinforced the tension between the global powers. And the Q4 of 2023 started with a conflict between Israel and Palestine, which is both painstaking for the sake of humanity, and entails great risks in terms of geopolitics. Today, the issue between Israel and Palestine is far from a local conflict, and has transformed into a global crisis involving many countries.
Recent geopolitic developments will continue to pose risks on global growth and energy prices in the forthcoming period. The IMF estimates that the global economic growth rate, which realized at 3.5% in 2022, will drop to 3% in 2023 and 2.9% in 2024. It is projected that the core inflation rate will also gradually decline along with headline inflation. In this environment, although major central banks are closing in on end of rate hiking cycle, it seems likely that they will have to maintain interest rates at current high level for a long time.
Examining Türkiye's economic policies, we see that a stance that prioritizes macroeconomic balancing and stability has been adopted. This ongoing macroeconomic model will enable us to stand out as more resilient to developments in an environment where global risks arise.
We The tightening of monetary policy is expected to cause some slowdown in domestic demand in the short term. However, a gradual decline in inflation is forecast for the medium term.
We foresee a gradual slowdown in domestic demand in the short-term, due to tighter monetary policy and accordingly a gradual fall in inflation in the mid-term.
The restoration of macro balances will initiate capital inflows, direct financial markets into a stable course So, the growth will recover in the medium to long term and display a healthier outlook.
At QNB Finansbank, we completed the third quarter of 2023 with a robust performance in the face of economic and geopolitical events that have implications on both Türkiye and the world. As of 30 September 2023, our bank's total assets increased by 43%, compared to the end of 2022, reaching TL 861 billion 923 million, as net loans rose by 46%, reaching TL 502 billion 71 million. In the same period, our Bank's customer deposits reached TL 541 billion 975 million, recording an increase of 41%, while our equity grew by 50% to reach TL 66 billion 189 million. In the first nine months of 2023, our Bank's net profit was TL 24 billion 639 million.
The success of the Digital Bridge Platform, one of our important initiatives for supporting the economy and digital transformation, has also had an influence in the international arena. Global Finance Magazine—one of the world's leading publications—selected QNB Finansbank as the Best Digital SME Bank of Turkey and of the Western European Region.
The year 2023 is of great importance for all of us. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye, which is a modern, democratic, independent, secular regime that is based on science and humanity. QNB Finansbank acknowledges its responsibility as a financial institution in this country, and continues to work with the utmost ambition and commitment. We believe that children and youth of this nation will vouch for sustaining the Republic. And we carried out the "Renovation of 100 schools in the earthquake-affected region" project under a QNB Finansbank and UNICEF partnership, as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye. Thanks to support of QNB Finansbank, the project saw the renovation of 100 schools providing education to 31,531 students in Adıyaman, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş and Malatya provinces. Renovation was completed before the beginning of 2023-2024 academic year to ensure continuity of education.
QNB Finansbank took another very important step in September. We have adopted the main principle of working for a sustainable world in all our business operations, and established our "Becoming One with the World" vision to create a viable future through change. Thus, within the framework of our new "Becoming One with the World" vision, we announced to all our stakeholders that we are determined to create solutions to the environmental and social problems that endanger humanity and the planet.
I would like to thank all our financiers who continuously contribute to the growth of our bank through their selfless work, and our customers and business partners for the eternal trust they place in us.
Ömer A. Aras