Lebanon’s Four Top Banks Maintain Reasonable Growth in 2017: Report

Published February 1st, 2018 - 12:10 GMT
Lebanon’s four top banks maintained stable growth in 2017, despite the delicate situation in the country, a report by BLOMINVEST said Wednesday. (Shutterstock)
Lebanon’s four top banks maintained stable growth in 2017, despite the delicate situation in the country, a report by BLOMINVEST said Wednesday. (Shutterstock)

Lebanon’s four top banks in terms of profits, assets and deposits maintained reasonable growth in 2017 despite the delicate situation in the country, a report by BLOMINVEST said Wednesday.

“The unaudited financial results of the four largest listed Lebanese banks – BLOM, Audi, Byblos and Bank of Beirut – show that they have maintained their steady performance in 2017, despite the exceptional conditions still facing Lebanon and the region. Aggregate operational, non-exceptional net profit of the four banks increased to $1.32 billion in 2017, growing by 1.8 percent from 2016,” the report explained.

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It added that on individual basis, BLOM Bank attained the highest level of operational, non-exceptional net profit of $484.69 million at end 2017, growing by 4.72 percent from 2016. Audi Bank came second with net profit at $463.83 million, down by 1.33 percent; whereas BoB came third with net profit at $204.42 million, up by 1.51 percent. Byblos Bank’s net profit ranked fourth, rising by 2.9 percent to $170.12 million.

“The profit performance of the four banks can also be seen by looking at profitability ratios, namely the rate of return on average common equity (ROACE) and on average assets (ROAA), which measure the productivity to generate earnings from equity and assets.”

BLOM Bank recorded the highest ROACE at 17.19 percent and the highest ROAA at 1.56 percent.

The three other banks followed, with Audi’s ROACE at 13.40 percent and ROAA at 1.05 percent; BoB’s ROACE at 12.82 percent and ROAA at 1.15 percent; and Byblos Bank’s ROACE at 9.57 percent and ROAA at 0.78 percent.

“BLOM Bank’s effective performance can be attributed to its highly managerial and operational efficiency. This is demonstrated by BLOM Bank’s cost-to-income ratio of 34.36 percent, the lowest of all four, followed by 43.29 percent for BoB, 50.4 percent for Byblos bank, and 51.76 percent for Bank Audi.”

The report commented on the performance of assets in 2017

“Growth was not limited to profits only, since it was also registered in most key balance sheet items. For Audi, its assets stood at $43.75 billion, falling by 1.16 percent from end 2016, and its loan portfolio was to $16.32 billion, decreasing by 5.25 percent, while its shareholder’s equity rose by 13.23 percent to $4.18 billion. BLOM reported $32.54 billion in assets, growing by 10.25 percent, and its loan portfolio grew by 5.22 percent to $7.54 billion, while its shareholder’s equity rose by 2.49 percent to $3 billion, despite the recalling of preferred shares 2011,” the report said.

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It added that BLOM Bank’s balance sheet aggregates naturally benefited from its acquisition and merger of the assets and liabilities of the three HSBC Lebanon branches.

“Assets at Byblos reached $22.66 billion, growing at 9.12 percent, and its loan portfolio increased by 5.21 percent to $5.45 billion, while its shareholder’s equity increased to $1.88 billion at a rate of 4.18 percent. As to BoB, its assets rose by 6.78 percent to $18.37 billion, with its loan portfolio increasing by 19.24 percent to $5.69 billion, while its shareholder’s equity rose by 1.86 percent to $2.35 billion.” 


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