Cabym's Weblog

the Reference blog for financial investment in Lebanon

Archive for Economy

Lebanon ranks 84th globally, 10th in MENA region on Prosperity Index

The Legatum Institute 2010 Prosperity Index ranked Lebanon in 84th place among 110 countries around the world and in 10th place among 14 countries in the Middle East & North Africa region.
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Association of Banks amends reference rate on US dollar and Lebanese pound lending

The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) recommended to its member banks to increase the Beirut Reference Rate in US dollars to 4.67% from 4.66% previously starting in December. The rate, considered as the reference rate for lending in foreign currency, replaced last year the London Inter-Bank Offering Rate (LIBOR) since the ABL considered that the LIBOR no longer accurately reflects the cost of funding and lending in Lebanon.
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Torbey: Lebanon gradually applying Basel III guidelines

Torbey: Lebanon gradually applying Basel III guidelines

The Lebanese banks will gradually and moderately apply Basel III recommendations to reduce risk management, the head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Joseph Torbey, said Friday.

“We have applied most of the recommendations of Basel I and II over the past few years and we intend to do the same in Basel III with the help of the regulatory and monetary authorities,” Torbey said. These remarks came during a lunch hosted by the association in honor of high ranking Turkish delegation which is visiting Lebanon

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Deutsche Bank: Good growth for Lebanese banks

The near-term outlook for growth of the Lebanese banking system appears strong, reflecting current buoyant economic conditions, according to research by Deutsche Bank. The research was published by Bank Audi.

“However, growth is likely to moderate somewhat over the next couple of years, as per the Bank, as GDP growth is forecast to slow to the 4-5 percent range,” the report said.
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Stock market activity at $1.8bn in first 11 months of 2010

Figures released by the Beirut Stock Exchange indicate that total trading volume reached 161 million shares in the first 11 months of 2010, constituting an increase of 62.2% from the same period last year, while aggregate turnover amounted to $1.84bn, up 86% from a turnover of $989m in the same period last year. Market capitalization decreased by 1.6% to $12.4bn in the first 11 months of 2010, of which 71% was in banking stocks and 24.8% in real estate stocks. The bourse’s activity was artificially inflated in January due to the sale of regional investment bank EFG Hermes of its entire stake in Bank Audi sal during the month. It was also boosted this year from the sale of Byblos Bank of 47.6 million common shares to the International Finance Corporation and of 13.6 million common shares to Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique S.A. (PROPARCO).
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Balance of payments posts surplus of $2.94bn

Central Bank figures show that Lebanon’s balance of payments posted a surplus of $2.94bn in the first 9 months of 2010 compared to a surplus of $4.84bn in the same period last year. The balance of payments posted a surplus of $186m in September compared to a surplus of $446.7m in August and a surplus of $475m in September 2009. The August 2010 surplus was caused by a surplus of $81m in the Central Bank’s net foreign assets and a surplus of $105m in those of banks and financial institutions.
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Lebanon ranks 49th globally for microfinance environment

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Microfinance Index ranked Lebanon in 49th place among 54 countries worldwide and in last place among 14 countries in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) in terms of the environment for microfinance, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group. Also, Lebanon came 12th among 14 Upper Middle Income Countries (UMICs) included in the survey.
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Beirut Real Estate Market to Grow 15 Percent

Beirut real estate market predicted to grow 15 percent in next three yearsLebanon’s real estate market will grow by up to 15 percent in the next three years, director general of the Economy Ministry Fuad Fleifel said Thursday at the Beirut International Property Fair.
“Lebanon has gone against the current of the international financial crisis in the real estate sector,” said Fleifel. “Its [real estate] value has risen by 9 percent during the first eight months of 2009, with expectations that it will rise between 10 and 15 percent until the year 2013.”
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Number of tourists up 18% in first 10 months of 2010

The number of incoming tourists to Lebanon totaled 1,851,922 in the first 10 months of 2010, constituting an increase of 17.6% from 1,574,490 tourists in the same period last year. Arab tourists accounted for 33.6% of total visitors and were followed by visitors from Europe with 22.4%, Asia with 21.9%, the Americas with 12.8%, Africa with 6.6%, and Oceania with 2.8%. The number of tourists
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Alpha banks see 20 percent profit rise in first nine months

Alpha banks see 20 percent profit rise in first nine monthsFinancial indicators of the top 12 banks operating in Lebanon showed moderate growth in activity in the first nine months of 2010, Bank Audi’s Lebanon Weekly Monitor, citing the alpha report issued by Bankdata Financial Services, reported.
The report stated that loans registered a substantial growth over the aforementioned period of this year, supporting earning growth in a period that witnessed relatively tough operating conditions.
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