In its 2012 survey of the Top 1000 commercial banks in the world, The Banker magazine included eight Lebanese banks on the list, down from nine banks last year, none of which ranked among the top 25 banks in the Middle East.
Commenting on those results, Lebanon This Week, the economical publication of Byblos Bank, stated that the rankings are based on Tier One capital at year-end 2011 as defined by the Basel Bank for International Settlements. The Banker said the definition is stricter than total shareholders' equity and covers only the core of a bank's strength, namely the shareholders' equity available to cover actual or potential losses.
Byblos Bank's Tier One capital reached $1.42bn at the end of 2011. It ranked ahead of Parsian Bank in Iran and International Bancshares Corp in the U.S., and was preceded by Banco de Occidente in Colombia and China's Bank of Dalian. Byblos Bank's Tier One capital rose by 5.5% in 2011. As a result, Byblos Bank posted the highest rise in Tier One capital in 2011 among Lebanese banks whose Tier One capital exceeds $1bn, and the third highest rise among the eight Lebanese banks included in the rankings.
Further, Byblos Bank's Tier One capital-to-assets ratio reached 8.58% at end-2011, posting the highest such ratio among all Lebanese banks. It was followed by:
BLOM Bank (7.39%),
Banque Libano-Française (7.16%),
Bank Audi (6.59%),
Bank of Beirut (6.15%),
BankMed (6.07%), and Crédit Libanais (5.7%).
None of the Lebanese banks improved their ranking in the 2012 survey. Among the top three banks, BLOM Bank's rank regressed by 49 notches to 411th place and that of Bank Audi dropped by 33 places (288th), while Byblos Bank's rank declined by 22 spots to 470th place and posted the smallest year-on-year drop in the standings among the top 3 banks and the fourth lowest among the Lebanese
banks included in the survey. Beyond the top 3 banks, Bank of Beirut fell by 120 spots to 753rd place and posted the worst decline among the eight banks, BankMed regressed by 22 notches (681st), Crédit Libanais decreased by 15 spots (874th), Fransabank fell by seven places (616th), and Banque Libano-Française dropped by two spots (674th).
Overall, Fransabank's Tier One capital increased by 9.9% year-on-year, followed by Banque Libano-Française with a rise of 8.6%, Byblos Bank with a jump of 5.5%, Crédit Libanais with growth of 5.3%, BankMed with a 4.2% improvement, and Bank Audi with a rise of 1.5%. In contrast, BLOM Bank's Tier One capital contracted by 6.3% and that of Bank of Beirut fell by 19.6%.
The aggregate Tier One capital of the eight Lebanese banks totaled $8.36bn at end-2011, constituting an increase of 1% from end-2010 and compared to a 5.7% rise in the Tier One capital of the Top 1000 banks. Further, the profits-to-Tier One capital ratio of the Lebanese banks reached 20.4% in 2011 compared to 12.2% for the Top 1000 banks. Lebanon had the 24th highest return on capital worldwide
in 2011, as the return on capital of the eight Lebanese banks was 20.4% last year. The eight Lebanese banks accounted for 0.14% of the Tier One capital of the Top 1000 banks, for 0.11% of their total assets and for 0.24% of their aggregate pre-tax profits. They also accounted for 3.9% of the Tier One capital of the 93 Middle Eastern banks included in the Top 1000, for 5.6% of their total assets and for 5.2% of their aggregate pre-tax profits.
Lebanon This Week, Byblos Bank