BLOM Bank SAL, Lebanon’s largest bank in terms of assets and customer deposits, announced plans to distribute $32.52 million, or 42.4 percent of its 2000 net profits in dividends. This would lead to a dividend of $1.758 per share compared to $1.526 for 1999 and $1.25 for 1998. The 2000 dividend pay out constitutes a 15 percent increase over last year’s dividend compared to a 22.08 percent rise in 1999. BLOM declared net profits of $78.5 million in 2000, an 11.06 percent rise over 1999 results. Its net income rose 20 percent to $70.68 million in 1999.
The balance of profits, or $45.98 million, will be added to reserves, thereby increasing shareholders equity to $286.6 million. BLOM said in a statement the board of directors would discuss the proposal with its General Assembly and that payment would be made on April 10,2001.
The Central Bank’s concise balance sheet reached LL16,626,571 billion in the first half of
March compared to LL16,866.209 billion at the end of February. Assets in foreign currencies decreased by $130.16 million to $5.939 billion from $6.069 billion at the end of February. Assets in foreign currencies declined by $1.664 billion last year and increased by $1.189 billion in 1999. They rose by $136.39 million in the first two months of the year. — ( Lebanon Invest )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)