The consolidated profits of Lebanon’s top 14 banks surged by 9.1 per cent in 2014, a new report reveals.
The rise in profits is driven by a 10.3 per cent growth in net operating income, which led to a 10.9 per cent increase in profit before taxes, it says.
According to the report by Bankdata Financial Services, these big banks, known as the Alpha Group, saw its deposits exceeding $2 billion.
Moreover, the report shows customer deposits remain a prime mover of activity growth accounting for 82.7 per cent of total activity and grew by 9.4 per cent in 2014.
Foreign deposits increased by 22.4 per cent between December 2013 and December 2014, while local deposits grew by 6.8 per cent in the same period.
Banking activity grew by 10.4 per cent, rising to $194.6 billion at the end of December 2014 from $176.3 billion at the end of December in 2013.
The report says the growth was driven by both domestic and foreign activity, though the latter proved to be more robust over the past year.
At home, the assets of the 14 banks saw an 8.8 per cent surge in 2014, while their foreign activity rose by 16.9 per cent over the year,” the figures indicated.
Lebanon’s economy has been hit by the war in Syria as well as the political stalemate in the country.
In February, Lebanon issued its largest-ever Eurobond, raising $2.2 billion, and expects the economy to grow 2.5 per cent in 2015.