Lebanese bank assets rise 7.1% y/y to USD 167bn at end-March 2014

By bne IntelliNews May 27, 2014

Lebanon’s banking sector total assets grew 7.1% y/y and 0.3% m/m to LBP 251tn (USD 166.6bn) at end-March, data from the association of banks in Lebanon showed. Bank deposits growth eased from a 7.8% y/y increase at end-February but will remain strong in the near term amid stable political and security situations and the upcoming summer season.

The Lebanese banking sector continues to be the key supporter of the country’s creditworthiness and sovereign ratings.

In April, Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on Lebanon to stable from negative on strong banking sector’s financials and stabilising political situation following the formation of a new government.

Total bank deposits, including resident and non-resident private sector deposits and public sector deposits, increased 7.0% to LBP 210.5tn at end-March, accounting for 84% of total assets.

LBP-denominated private-sector deposits rose 2.3% ytd to end-March, whereas those denominated in foreign currencies fell 0.8% ytd. The deposit dollarization rate, thus, declined to 65.4% from 66.1% at end-2013. The resident private sector deposits accounted for 78.2% of total deposits at end-March, whereas those of the non-resident sector equalled 19.6%.

Total capital accounts reached LBP 21.888tn (USD 14.519bn) at the end of March 2014, equalling around 8.7% of total assets.

Total claims on the resident and non-resident private sector grew 1.6% ytd to LBP 72.6tn at end-March. The dollarization rate of loans was 76.2%, and the ratio of total loans to total deposits reached 35.3% at end-March.

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