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Lost opportunities
Adnan Kassar: Lebanon failed to seize capital flight from Arab states
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August 1, 2011- The Head of the private economic bodies Adnan Kassar said that due to the political standoff that had prevailed for the past months, the country missed opportunities to capture investments that fled revolt-stricken Arab states. However, he said, the overall economic indicators are still robust, as incoming capitals for the first five months of 2011 were around two billion dollars per month.

Industrial exports, for the same period, grew by four percent to around four billion dollars, while construction permits rose by four percent.

According to Kassar, the repercussions of the turmoil in some Arab states, namely in Syria and Egypt, were quite limited considering the modest size of the involved capitals of Lebanese banks in these states.

Kassar said that the capitals of Lebanese banks operating in Syria were $545 million at the end of the first quarter of 2011. The banks hold a 49 percent share of the capital, equivalent to $267 million, which represents less than five percent of their capitals in Lebanon, he said.

Kassar said that loans extended by local banks to Syrian residents account for two percent of the total loans, and are covered with reliable securities.

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Date Posted: Aug 01, 2011