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Lebanon’s Bank Audi 2010 net up 22 percent
Loans up $1.8 bln to $8.5 bln.
January 21, 2011 10:27 by Reuters
Lebanon’s Bank Audi said on Thursday its 2010 net profit increased by 22 percent in 2010 to $352 million as its loans and deposits grew.
The bank said total assets increased 8.3 percent to $28.7 billion at the end of 2010.
The bank said consolidated deposits grew by $1.9 billion in 2010 to $24.8 billion.
“(This is) a very favourable performance, given that the increase in Bank Audi’s customer deposits represented close to 2.7 percent of the increase in total deposits of banks in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region,” the bank said in a statement.
It said net loans grew by $1.8 billion in 2010, reaching $8.5 billion.
Strict central bank regulations allowed Lebanese banks to escape the brunt of the global financial crisis two years ago, prompting expatriates to transfer funds to Lebanon at an above-average rate last year.
On Wednesday, Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on three banks including Audi. It said it had revised the outlook of Bank Audi, BankMed and Blom Bank to stable from positive after it downgraded the outlook on Lebanon’s B credit rating to stable from positive on Tuesday, saying the prospects of economic reforms had been damaged by the government’s collapse.
Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah and its allies resigned last week, bringing down the government of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri in a dispute over the U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of his father, Rafik.
(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Will Waterman)