Lebanon: Banking news
Byblos Bank’s Vice Chairman and General Manager Semaan Bassil outlined the bank’s strategy for the future within the current economic climate. He said the bank plans to invest in technology, develop its human resources, improve its risk management, and launch new consumer products. Mr. Bassil added that Byblos will try to maintain the same profit level as last year if the economic slowdown prevails this year, but predicted that economic progress would certainly benefit the bank. He revealed that Byblos was making investments that will translate into more profits and better risk management, and that the bank increased its liquidity and developed fee and commission-based services to deal with the recession. He also indicated that Byblos does not plan to issue Eurobonds in the near future.
One of Lebanon’s top 5 banks, Byblos declared consolidated net income of $46.8 million in
2000, down 6.8 percent from the previous year, but still the second largest income among publicly traded banks. An innovative and dynamic bank, Byblos is a pioneer in the local banking sector. It was the first to offer consumer and personal loans, thereby securing a leading position in the retail market. It was also first to tap local and international markets for equity and debt financing, and to issue certificates of deposits in foreign currency.
Byblos has signed agreements with several multilateral agencies to help finance trade as well as small and medium-size businesses in Lebanon. Such accords exist with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank; Proparco, the private sector arm of the French Development Agency; the Canadian Export Development Corporation; the OPEC Fund for International Development; and the Arab Trade Finance Program. — ( Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)