Byblos Bank recorded a 0.8 percent increase in net income in 2002, reaching 67.4 billion Lebanese pounds ($44.3 million), up from LP 66.8 billion at the end of 2001. This net income did not include the results of ABN-Amro Beirut branch (ABN), which was acquired effective December 26, 2002.
Return on assets (ROA) stood at 0.95 percent at the end of 2002 compared to 1.02 percent at the end of 2001. Return on equity (ROE) stood at 14.2 percent at the end of 2002 compared to 14.6 percent at the end of 2001. The acquisition of ABN will contribute to increased profits during 2003.
Net interest income increased by 3.8 percent to reach LP 164 billion at the end of 2002. The increase in net interest income was achieved despite a lower loan exposure by eight percent, excluding the ABN acquisition, and higher levels of FCY liquidity that was maintained in 2002.
Non-interest income increased by 33.2 percent to reach LP 42 billion at the end of 2002. The main driver for the increase in non-interest income was trade finance activity which increased by 29.5 percent to reach LP 11 billion at the end of 2002. The acquisition of ABN is expected to strengthen the non-interest income base during 2003 especially in areas of capital markets and private banking.
Operating expenses increased by 8.5 percent as a result of integrating ex-Wedge Bank of the Middle East employees and branches into those of Byblos. However, Byblos was successful in containing the cost-to-income ratio and maintaining it at the 56 percent levels. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )