Lebanese banking majors consider merger
Lebanon’s Banque Libano Francaise and Banque Saradar are contemplating a possible merger. As one entity, the two banks’ combined asset worth could reach up to $4.5 billion, potentially making it one of the largest banks in the country, reported Daily Star.
If sealed, the deal would make the largest bank amalgamation in the history of the Lebanese banking sector. For the time being, the largest deal remains the 1997 consolidation of Byblos Bank and Banque Beyrouth pour le Commerce SAL (BBC). The Central bank is encouraging the idea of mergers, hoping that it will render the country’s crowded banking sector more competitive and better able to face the challenges of globalization.
There are presently more than 67 local and foreign banks operating in Lebanon. In terms of assets, Banque Libano Francaise and Banque Saradar are the fifth and 10th largest banks in the country. Approximately 51 percent of Banque Libano Francaise is owned by French bank Credit Agricole Indosuez Group, while the rest of the shares are owned by Lebanese investors.
Approximately 25 percent of Banque Saradar, whose assets amount to $1.5 billion, is owned by the Banque National de Canada and the International Finance Corporation. The remaining shares are controlled bank founders Holding Saradar and Mario Saradar. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)