Byblos Bank released its unaudited 2000 financial statements reporting a consolidated net profit of $46.82 million, down 6.81 percent from 1999, while total assets increased by 12.1 percent to $4.07 billion and customer deposits rose 11.2 percent to $3.1 billion at the end of 2000. The bank announced that the profit squeeze was the result of economic recession and lower interest rates on T-bills.
Byblos’ net interest margin fell from 3.35 percent in 1999 to 3.12 percent in 2000, while return on assets dropped from 1.43 percent to 1.22 percent in the same period, and return on equity fell to 15.9 percent from 17.7 percent.
Byblos declared that it adopted a conservative strategy in 2000, following a management decision to tighten consumer lending as growth in retail loans stood below 3 percent during the year. The bank added that it relied heavily last year on long-term borrowing to fund long-term assets, especially assets denominated in foreign currency. — ( Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )