Awards for excellence - Lebanon
Best debt house
Audi Investment Bank
In Lebanon two leading banks scrap it out for the best bank position. While last year BLOM and Banque Audi shared the award, this year BLOM is out on its own.
This is as much as anything down to BLOM's ability to navigate tricky waters better than Audi. "BLOM has been riding out a poor year and for us it is the clear leader," says one analyst. This is not to say that Audi has suddenly become a bad bank. "Audi is still a good bank but has dropped back a little," says the analyst.
The main reason for this is the problems in the Lebanese economy over the past couple of years which have hit Audi harder than BLOM. "It has seen more problems occurring in its loan portfolio," says a market observer.
By contrast BLOM, despite also being faced with some bad loans, enjoyed a good year, a performance made even better in the light of market conditions. "Its asset quality is still very sound, it saw a slight fall in its bad loan ratio last year, and it has very good credit management," says an analyst.