Lebanon Businessnews News

Bank assets
four times GDP
Deposits up seven

percent, loans three percent

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The consolidated balance sheet of commercial banks shows that total assets reached $204 billion at the end of 2016, up ten percent compared to the year before. This is almost four times GDP.

Amine Awad, Advisor to the Chairman of BLOM Bank, said: “Banks were able to attract deposits from abroad that are short to medium term. This has led to an increase in assets.”

The value of resident and non-resident deposits grew seven percent to $162 billion. Awad said that the growth of deposits is due to the financial engineering operations by the Central Bank (BDL).

Given such operations and the attractive packages for deposits offered by banks, the increase in deposits in foreign currencies rose $8.6 billion while lira-denominated deposits increased $2.3 billion. Deposits of commercial banks at BDL also rose 27 percent to $89 billion.

The number of loans grew at three percent, a bit slower than 2015, to reach $51 billion. Awad foresees growth in loans in 2017 due to higher remittances generated by higher oil prices.

He said: “OPEC countries decided to lower their production and exports, which lead to a price increase.”

He said that political and security stability would lead to the attraction of more foreign direct investment (FDI).
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Feb 16, 2017
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