Lebanon Businessnews News

Lebanese Capital Markets Day takes place in New York
Torbey: Banks did well despite adversities
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Lebanon has successfully overcome the stress test and proved great resilience in the face of the challenges emerging from the Arab Spring and the fallouts of the global financial crisis, said Minister of Economy and Trade Nicolas Nahas.

Speaking at the third annual Lebanese Capital Markets Day held on Monday (March 4) at New York’s St. Regis Hotel, Nahas expected the implementation of the Capital Market’s Law to contribute to the activation of financial markets.

Joseph Torbey, Chairman of the Association of Banks (ABL), said the banking sector is the dynamo for economic growth. He said local banks are now present across 31 countries worldwide and were able to attain good profitability despite the adversities.

Former Minister of Finance Jihad Azour said the local economic growth has lost steam due to regional instability, coupled with local political wavering and the lack of reform. Azour said that a set of preemptive measures, similar to the economic and social program the government presented during the Paris III conference in 2007, need to be taken.

Azour said the local economy has 12 sectors of high potential which could reactivate growth in a short period of time: “These sectors alone make up 70 percent of the local GDP.” He said rehabilitating the infrastructure needs the collaboration of the private sector.

The Capital Markets’ Day was hosted by the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce (Amcham), BNY Mellon, and Auerbach Grayson, in collaboration with the Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA) and the ABL. The event aims to facilitate dialogue between international and local investors. It was attended by a number of officials representing local financial institutions and governmental agencies.

The delegation is scheduled to go to Washington DC where a series of meetings will be held on Wednesday and Thursday (March 6-7) with officials from the Department of Commerce, Department of State, the U.S. Agency for Trade and Development, ExIm Bank, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Mar 04, 2013
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