According to the latest BDL statistics, Lebanon registered a balance of payments (BoP) deficit in December 2000 of $133.5 million compared to a deficit of $65.3m in November, and a $95 million surplus in December 1999. For the whole of 2000, the BoP registered an accumulated deficit of $289.8 million compared to a surplus of $260.7 million in 1999.
Commercial banks' consolidated balance sheet for December 2000 rose 1.01 percent from a month before to $45.03 billion. Compared to a year before, the balance sheet showed a 10.96 percent increase in assets from $40.58 billion in December 1999. Total deposits rose 10.43 percent over the same period, mainly boosted by a $4.1 billion surge in FC deposits.
The markedly higher dollarization rate of 66.88 percent, up 511 basis points year-to-year, resulted from a higher growth rate in FC deposits of 19.6 percent compared to a decline of 4.3 percent in LP. Loans in LP went up by 15.7 percent compared to a year before, against a 4.5 percent increase in FC loans. The ratio of loans to deposits as at end of 2000 decreased by 178 b.p. from a year before to 39.21 percent.
The ratio of FC loans to FC deposits was down 733 b.p. from December 1999, to 51.01 percent, while that of LP loans to LP deposits increased 266 b.p. over the same period to 15.37 percent. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )