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Byblos Bank Q1 net profit up 23 percent

Total assets $15.9 bln end March, up 4.1 pct from end '10

April 27, 2011 3:13 by

Lebanese group Byblos Bank  posted a 23 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to $38.6 million.

Acting chief financial officer Zaid el Zoghbi said it went up due to “better management of interest and expenses”.

The bank also said on Wednesday its total assets stood at $15.9 billion at end-March, up 4.1 percent from end-2010. Customer deposits grew 2.8 percent to $ 12.2 billion.

It said in the statement that it continued to maintain high immediate liquidity “in the form of short term placements with banks which increased by 15.2 percent during the first quarter of 2011 and represented 28.3 of customers’ deposits.”

Lebanese banks have generally recorded robust profits over the last two years, shielded from the financial crisis due to ultra-conservative policies by the central bank which prevented their exposure to risky instruments. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Dan Lalor and Jon Loades-Carter)

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