Eight Lebanese banks among top 1,000 in the world

BEIRUT: In its 2012 survey of the world’s top 1,000 commercial banks, The Banker magazine included eight Lebanese banks on the list, down from nine banks last year.

None of Lebanon’s banks ranked among the Middle East’s top 25. The rankings are based on Tier One capital at year-end 2011 defined by the Basel Bank for International Settlements, according to Lebanon This Week, which reported the list. 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 rose by 5.5 percent to $1.42bn in 2011. As a result, Byblos Bank posted the highest rise in Tier One capital in 2011 among Lebanese banks whose capital exceeds $1bn, and the third highest rise among the eight Lebanese banks included in the rankings.

Byblos Bank’s Tier One capital-to-assets ratio reached 8.58 percent at end-2011, posting the highest such ratio among all Lebanese banks. It was followed by BLOM Bank (7.39 percent), Banque Libano-Française (7.16 percent), Bank Audi (6.59 percent), Fransabank (6.2 percent), Bank of Beirut (6.15 percent), BankMed (6.07 percent), and Crédit Libanais (5.7 percent).

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, Bank Audi dropped by 33 places (288th), while Byblos Bank’s rank fell by 22 spots to 470th place and posted the smallest year-on-year drop in the standings among the top three banks – the fourth lowest among the Lebanese banks included in the survey.

Beyond the top three 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).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 10, 2012, on page 5.




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