The unaudited consolidated net profits of the Alpha Group of banks reached $431.3m in the first quarter of 2013, constituting an increase of 15.5% from the same quarter last year. The Alpha Group consists of 13 banks with deposits in excess of $2bn each. Total net operating income rose by 8.8% to $1.1bn, with aggregate net interest income increasing by 1.6% to $684.8m and net fees & commissions receipts declining by 2.1% to $176m year-on-year. Also, non-interest income accounted for 39.1% of total income in the first quarter of the year, up from 38.5% in the same quarter last year; with net fees & commissions earnings representing 38.3% of noninterest income in the first quarter of 2013, down from 40.9% in the same quarter last year.
The net interest spread decreased to 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013 from 1.91% in the same quarter last year. Also, total operating expenditures increased by 6.2% year-on-year to $566.6m, with staff expenses rising by 5.9% to $312.3m. Further, the cost-to-income ratio increased to 48.2% in the first quarter of 2013 relative to 46.8% in the same quarter last year. The banks' total assets reached $161.4bn at end-March 2013, constituting a 2.4% growth from end-March 2012. Further, aggregate loans & advances to customers rose by 3.6% from end-2012 to $46.4bn, while credits extended to related parties grew by 2.9% to $952.5m at end-March 2013. Also, customer deposits totaled $132.9bn at end-March 2013, constituting a rise of 2.4% from end-2012; while deposits from related parties decreased by 6.6% to $2.1bn at end-March 2013.
In parallel, the banks' loans-to-deposits ratio increased to 35.1% at end-March 2013 from 34.6% a year earlier. The ratio of loans-todeposits in local currency reached 19.2% at end-March 2013 compared to 18.6% at end-March 2012, while that in foreign currency was 42.2% at the end of March 2013 relative to 41.7% a year earlier.
Also, the banks' return on average assets reached 1.08% in March 2013 on an annualized basis, relative to 1.01% a year earlier; while their return on average equity was 12% on an annualized basis relative to 11.64% in March 2012. Further, the net primary liquidity-to-deposits ratio reached 32.8% at end-March 2013, up from 32.4% at end-2012. The banks' aggregate equity-to-assets ratio rose to 8.61% at end-March 2013 compared to 8.38% a year earlier. Also, the collective provisions-to-net loans ratio decreased to 1.05% at end-March 2013 relative to 1.17% a year earlier.
Lebanon This Week – Byblos Bank