Slight drop in cars sales follows tighter lending rules. New and pre-owned vehicles affected - Lebanon

Slight drop in cars sales
follows tighter lending rules
New and pre-owned vehicles affected
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The number of new cars registered during the first half of 2015 has dropped by two percent, compared to the same period in 2014, according to the Association of Automobile Importers (AIA). The association said that 19,171 vehicles have been registered so far this year.

The number of used cars sold during the same phase has also dropped by two percent, said Elie Azzi, President of the Used Cars Importers Syndicate.

The implementation of the Central Bank’s (BDL) Intermediate Circular 369 was behind this drop. “We are facing the same circumstances as new car importers because the BDL regulation is applicable to all car loans whether new or used,” Azzi said.

The circular, issued on August 21 2014, and applied as of last October, listed housing and car loans as ‘consumer loans’, which should not exceed 75 percent of the value of the purchased property.

AIA said that the majority of the registered new cars are small, with a low selling price. The orientation of the market toward small cars is due to the absence of an adapted and structured public transportation system and to the drop in the purchasing power of consumers.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Jul 13, 2015