(Jordan Times ) – BLOM’s First-Half 2000 Profits up 14.6 percent to $39.26 million. Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer S.A.L. (BLOM), the largest bank in Lebanon, announced that its consolidated net profits for the first six months of 2000 rose 14.6 percent from $34.25 million in the same period in 1999, to $39.26 million this year.
Lying behind the bank’s consistent profits growth of recent years has been a continuous improvement in its cost-to-income ratio, which has fallen from 60.8 percent in 1996 to 38.37 percent in 1999, and continues to decline in 2000.
The bank's assets increased 20.1 percent from the previous year to stand at $5.44 billion at the end of June 2000. This was driven primarily by robust growth in the bank’s main source of funding, with customer deposits 19.4 percent higher at $4.71billion.
Tier I capital rose 19.9 percent to $279.22 million, between end-June 1999 and end-June 2000. Capital of Tier I and Tier II together amounted to $364.55 million. After distribution of 1999 dividends and without taking into account 2000 profits, BLOM’s capital adequacy ratio stands at 23.55 percent, almost three times the internationally required level.
Audi Posts 11 percent drop in net income. Banque Audi S.A.L announced that its profits for the first half of 2000 were 10.9 percent down on the same period in 1999,at $18.32 million.
The bank’s assets were up 11.3 percent over the same period, to $3.43 billion, as deposits grew 11.48 percent to $2.79 billion. Outstanding loans, however, fell 1.36 percent to $840.8 million, with the bank exercising a more conservative approach in its extension of credits.
Interestingly enough, Audi’s loan-loss provisions to total loans jumped from 5.87 percent at the end of June 1999 to 8.2 percent at the end of June 2000. General operating expenses were 12.2 percent higher at $32.1 million, a quarter of which was attributable to the consolidation of insurance company Societe Libano-Arabe d’Assurances et de Rיassurances, acquired by Audi at the end of last year. The higher growth of Audi’s cost base in relation to its income streams resulted in its cost-to-income ratio deteriorating by 4 percentage points.
At the same time, Audi disclosed that it had completed the acquisition of its French affiliate Banque Audi (France) S.A. in a cash transaction and is still in the process of trying to acquire its Swiss sister bank Banque Audi (Suisse) S.A.
Fransabank’s profits are down 13.3 percent to $39 million. Fransabank S.A.L., one of Lebanon's top 10 banks, released its profits for 1999, dropping 13.3 percent to $39 million from $45 million in 1998, compared to $41 million in 1997. The bank's assets rose 20.1 percent to $2.65 billion and loans increased 23.77 percent to $721 million, while deposits were 20.45 percent higher at $2.07 billion.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )