Awards for Excellence 2009: Lebanon
Best Bank: Banque Audi
Competition between Lebanon’s two biggest banks, Banque Audi and Blom Bank, remains as intense as ever. This year, the decision between them was particularly hard, especially when the third-biggest bank, Byblos, is so intent on catching up. Byblos beat Blom and Audi to underwrite (along with Credit Libanais) a voluntary debt exchange for the Lebanese government worth $2.3 billion.
Nevertheless, Byblos remains behind Audi and Blom, at least in size, while Blom and Audi were almost neck and neck in their performance over the past 12 months. In the three months to March 2009, for example, Audi made $61 million net profit, while Blom made $63 million: a rise compared with the first three months of 2008 of 11.6% for Audi, and 12.2% for Blom.
In 2008, Blom’s net profits grew 22.9%,