HSBC maintains buy on BLOM, downgrades Byblos
HSBC Investment Bank in London issued reports this week on BLOM and Byblos banks, recommending a “Buy” for the former and a “Sell” on the latter. Byblos had previously been given a “Hold” by HSBC.
HSBC said that “BLOM is considered to be the safest bank in Lebanon”, highlighting 2000 profits growth of 11 percent “attributable to growth of net interest income and higher cost efficiency”. The report also pointed out as one of BLOM’s strengths its conservatism, allowing “for resilience in economic downturn”.
In regards to Byblos, HSBC predicted lower profits this year due to higher provisioning and economic conditions. A risk facing both banks would be “failure to stimulate the economy”. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)