Byblos Bank further extended its run of solid financial performance in the first nine months of 2014, recording healthy ratios despite persistent economic stagnation and political insecurity on both the local and regional levels. The Bank’s results served to reaffirm the confidence of depositors and other stakeholders, with customer deposits rising by 5.7% (+$0.8bn) to reach $15.6bn as at 30 September 2014, and total assets registering growth of 2.6% (+$0.5bn) to reach $19bn as at end-September 2014.
The results also reiterated the Bank’s firm support for the private sector, with net customer loans increasing by 4.97% (+$0.2bn) to reach $4.73bn at the end of the same period. Net income remained almost unchanged with a small drop of 0.7% during the first nine months of 2014, to reach $112.8m as compared to $113.6m in the same period of last year.
Grounded in a long-term vision to deliver healthy and sustained returns, Byblos Bank’s strategy helps set the standard for the sound banking practices that have enabled Lebanon’s financial sector to overcome local and international challenges alike. This strategy focuses on sustaining high levels of capital adequacy and liquidity, allocating enough provisions against potential credit losses, and sticking to conservative lending for consumers.
The end-September 2014 results indicate that Byblos Bank has continued to maintain financial cushions sufficient to mitigate unexpected risks and counter economic volatility. Primary liquidity placed with banks and central banks (including Central Bank of Lebanon certificates of deposit) amounted to $9.2bn at the end of the third quarter, representing 48.7% of total assets. The Bank also enjoys a capital adequacy ratio that is one of the highest in the Lebanese banking sector, amounting to 16.5%, versus a minimum of 12% required by the regulatory authorities in Lebanon by December 2015 and 11.5% as at end-2014.
Moreover, Byblos Bank’s sound strategy is supported by a ratio of net non-performing loans (NPLs) to total loans that remains below 1% as at 30 September 2014, and a coverage ratio, including collective provisions, on non-performing loans of 132% as at the same date.
Armed with the longstanding confidence of its shareholders, Byblos Bank continues to provide world-class products and services for clients and consistent value for business partners. The Bank’s list of shareholder includes, among others, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), private sector arm of the World Bank Group, which has been represented on the Board of Directors since the beginning of 2014. In 2010 the IFC set a new record for the largest investment in a Lebanese bank by an international entity when it acquired the equivalent of $100,000,000 in Byblos Bank shares.