Banking & Finance articles

A good time to borrow

A good time to borrow

Home loans account for more than a quarter of local banks’ private sector lending. This is in large part thanks to subsidized loans from Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank,  and loans from the Public Corporation for Housing (PCH), which are offered through local banks to lower-middle and low-income home buyers. A surge in

Freedom of insurance

The Lebanese insurance industry seems to be in need of new energy. Not only in terms of its objective to participate in the covers of the future oil and gas industry, but also in its fundamental development of company structures and legal infrastructure. With low growth in insurance premiums – some 4 percent in 2015

Analysis of banking sector results

The profitability of alpha banks – those with deposits above $2 billion – has grown in the third quarter of 2016 when measured by the improved return on average equity (ROAE). The ROAE ratio at end of September was almost two percentage points higher than a year earlier. This insight from quarterly figures released after

An awfully quiet year

When compared with the banking sector and the initiatives taken by Banque du Liban (BDL), the year was unnervingly quiet for the country’s insurance industry. Preliminary information on the performance of insurance companies suggests that the 4 percent growth in gross premiums to $1.2 billion at the end of the third quarter was low when

A promise of wealth

Oussama Kaissi is the chief executive officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICEIC), the insurance arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). The IDB is a Saudi Arabia-based multilateral organization which comprises a group of Islamic institutions in the realm of finance. Executive sat down with Kaissi to

A retrospective

It is understandable that Freddie Baz, the chief strategist of Lebanon’s largest bank, Bank Audi, presented a divergent view from the central bank’s narrative explaining the latter’s financial engineering (see story and infographic). Whereas the analysis picture drawn by Banque du Liban (BDL) focused on the very positive impacts of this quantitative easing measure, Baz

Negative interest rates

Over recent years, central bankers of the world have tried several conventional measures to revive economic growth in the aftermath of the Great Recession and re-establish trust in the financial system, but they have not reaped the results they were hoping for. A few of them decided to go beyond conventional measures and venture into

“To move or not to move?”

This spring there was considerable commotion in Lebanese economic and financial circles as rumors surfaced that the country’s largest bank was engaged in scenario exercises about moving its corporate head office to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The question of the advantages and disadvantages of such a significant relocation decision motivated Philip Karam,

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