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Lebanon

Best bank
Blom Bank Best debt house
BNP Paribas

Blom is the strongest and best-run bank in Lebanon and its conservatism has served it well in avoiding the kind of non-performing loan problem that plague its leading rivals. Blom has also succeeded in growing its loan book by an impressive 17% over the past year while assets have increased a similarly impressive 24% and net income 6%. The substantially larger net income growth of rival Bank Audi of 33% is largely from a revaluation of its securities portfolio.

Over the past year, Blom?s new corporate banking unit, headed by a former senior BNP Paribas banker, has won a greater share of business from foreign companies than many of its rivals, as foreign banks reduce their business in the country. The bank has added 50 new relationships with prime clients over the past year.

BNP Paribas, which worked on three of the four international bond issues from Lebanon this year, wins the award for best debt house in Lebanon.

As well as the $1 billion and e225 million sovereign deals it led along with CSFB, BNP Paribas? $100 million three-year deal for Banque de la Méditerranée achieved the lowest ever yield for the borrower.

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