Lebanon Businessnews News

Cedrus Bank now operational
To provide turnkey retail and banking products
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Cedrus Invest Bank today unveiled the launch of Cedrus Bank, the banking entity that emerged following the acquisition of Standard Chartered Lebanon.

“This investment is proof of our belief in Lebanon’s future and its strong and dynamic economy,” said Raed Khoury, Co-Founder and Chairman of Cedrus Invest Bank. “This existing Standard Chartered platform that we have acquired is solid and prone to expand in the market,” he said.

Cedrus Bank will act as a separate entity from Cedrus Invest Bank, focusing on retail and corporate services. “The acquisition of Standard Chartered in Lebanon and the formation of Cedrus Bank has enhanced Cedrus Group’s expansion in Lebanon and extended its services to reach a significantly wider customer base,” said Fadi Assali, Co-Founder of Cedrus Invest Bank, who will also chair Cedrus Bank.

The value of the transaction ranged between $22 million to $24 million. “We count on the importance of this investment as it represents a very strategic move and the right platform to expand our presence in Lebanon,” said Khoury.

The bank will be 85 percent owned by Cedrus Invest Bank, while Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association will have a share of 15 percent. “My role will be as a director and supervisor at the bank and will not be involved in any kind of executive tasks, which will be restricted to the management,” said Chammas, who will be Vice-Chairman of Cedrus Bank. “I will also participate in committees affiliated to the board of directors, such as the risk and audit committees, and will contribute to strategic decisions based on my economic experience,” he said.

The bank strategy would be to immediately raise equity to $60 million (more than four times its current equity), continuously invest in advanced technologies, expand the retail activities and the network, focus on Small and Medium Enterprises and provide customers the convenience of online banking.

“We will be completing our lending products assortment through housing loans, subsidized loans and corporate loans,” said Assali. “We will be taping into the experience of Cedrus Invest Bank, which means that we can fast track the private banking culture and extend it to existing customers as well as to potential ones,” he said.

Cedrus Invest Bank has focused on a niche market of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). “Through Cedrus Bank, we will be able to target low and middle income customers,” said Khoury.

More than 100 employees of Standard Chartered Lebanon will join Cedrus Bank. “We are going to have human resources that combine international standards with local knowledge,” said Assali.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Mar 03, 2015
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