A man rides a scooter on June 8, 2020 on Via della Conciliazione in Rome near The Vatican and its Basilica (Rear) as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP)
The Institute for the Works of Religion, often referred to as the Vatican bank, made a profit of 38 million euros (about $42.9 million) in 2019, more than twice the profit reported in the previous year, according to its annual report.In the report, which was released by the Vatican June 8, Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, president of the bank's board of supervisors, said that 2019 was "a favorable year" and the profit reflected "a prudent approach in the management of the institute assets and its costs base."The bank held assets worth 5.1 billion euros ($5.7 billion) at year's end, which included deposits and investments from close to 14,996 clients -- mostly Catholic religious orders around the world, Vatican offices and employees, and Catholic clergy."In 2019, the institute continued to provide, with rigor and prudence, financial services to the Vatican City State and the Catholic Church worldwide," the institute said in a June 8 statement.According to the report, the bank's assets are worth 630 million euros ($720 million) placing its tier 1 capital ratio -- which measures the bank's financial strength -- at 82.4 percent compared to 86.4 percent in 2018.