The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

Lebanon: Banks ride high despite economic slowdown

Lebanon’s banking sector is proving surprisingly resilient in spite of dire economic conditions, according to a recent report issued by one of the country’s largest banks.

Banque Audi’s second-quarter report on the Lebanese economy shows that the country’s economy has contracted by 2% year on year since the beginning of 2007.

With public debt still at around 180% of GDP, construction and tourism activity has lagged, capital inflows have dried up, and the trade deficit has widened.

However, the report says that in the banking sector assets grew by 3.8%, customer deposits by 4.1%, lending by 8.9%, and profitability was up by 4.7%.

Nassib Ghobril, head of economic research and analysis at Lebanon’s Byblos Bank, says this resilience has been a result of a relatively controlled monetary flow, as well as the opening up of financial sectors elsewhere in the Middle East, which Lebanese banks have been able to exploit in their foreign operations.

Indeed, according to one senior Lebanese banker, many of the people in the key positions of Lebanon’s biggest banks are now spending much more time in such countries as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He said they are only staying at best one or two days a week in Beirut.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree