BLOM Bank S.A.L. (formerly named Banque du Liban et d’Outre-Mer), the largest bank in Lebanon, announced that its consolidated net profits for full year 2000 rose 11 percent from $70.68 million in 1999 to $78.46 million. The profits rise was achieved despite the Bank taking on $8.19 million in net provisions for doubtful loans during 2000 compared to $4.63 million in 1999. The level of provisions was determined in anticipation of possible repercussions arising out of the present economic situation. High asset quality was maintained with the proportion of doubtful-to-total loans edging up to only 6.49 percent at end-2000 from 6.32 percent a year earlier.
The Bank continued to achieve a high return on average equity (ROAE), equaling 26.7 percent in 2000, while earnings per share rose to $4.24 from $3.82 in 1999. The Bank's assets increased 14 percent from a year before to stand at $5.79 billion as at the end of 2000, while customer deposits were 15.7 percent higher at $5.01 billion. Tier I capital rose 18.4 percent between end-1999 and end-2000 to $318.3 million.
Tier I and Tier II capital together amounted to $403.9 million. BLOM's loans-to-deposits ratio was only 23.98 percent overall and 32.4 percent in foreign currency. The Bank’s liquidity ratio was substantially more than double that required by the Central Bank. Its capital adequacy ratio was about three times the minimum international standard and over 2.5 times the level required in Lebanon. — ( Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )