Finance articles

Minding the moneylenders

Minding the moneylenders

Each year the observers and analysts of Lebanon’s banking performance eagerly await the publication of Bilanbanques, a wholly numbers-driven compendium of data and performance ratios on the banking sector produced by Bankdata Financial Services. Executive sat down for an interview with Dany Baz, Bankdata’s general manager, to enhance our understanding of the latest developments in

Tarek Khalife, Chairman at Credit Bank Lebanon

A Lebanese lender’s philosophy

Creditbank Chair Tarek Khalife explains his views on banking and the roots of his strategy to prioritize lending to the private sector. Last week, Executive published a longer piece about Creditbank.   The impression from our conversation on Creditbank is that you neither aim to be the richest banker in town nor are angling for the biggest

Egypt's election deflates the Egyptian Exchange

Presidential plummet

In an inverted image from the previous week, Gulf markets roared and Egypt flopped in the 22nd week of the year. However, the factors underlying the market movements remained unchanged: Influences of MSCI classification drove three markets in the Gulf while political developments ruled in Egypt. On the weekly balance, four MENA exchanges were flat, six

Ambassadors of Citi

International banks have been leaving the Lebanese market or selling off some of their operations. Last year, HSBC reported that they were to discontinue any sale of their investment and wealth management products in Lebanon as part of their global strategy to exit their less profitable branches. Similarly, the recent bidding process between local banks

Size does matter

Freddie Baz is a shareholder and board member of Istanbul-based Odeabank. He is also the chief financial officer of Audi Group, Odea’s parent. Most importantly, he is the personification of strategy at Lebanon’s largest banking group. Executive asked him what Audi Group has on its mind.      You have told us that Odeabank has achieved

Banks playing mind games on consumers

Mind games

It seems like a no brainer at first: Use your bank card for your purchases and you will eventually receive a free iPhone, a trip to Europe or, perhaps best of all, you will get your hard-earned cash back. Without studying the fine print, consumers rush to rack up points on their cards, pushing themselves

Makram Sader, ABL secretary general

Defending the banks’ bottom line

The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) is the nerve center of what is the sole highly developed part of the country’s financial sector. It is also the main lobbying organization for banking interests, responding harshly to proposals for higher taxation of banks and calling such moves “illegitimate” and discriminatory. Executive sat down to talk

Credit Bank's competitive edge resides in its risk culture.

On the lending prowl

The latest newcomer to the top ‘alpha group’ category of banks — those with more than $2 billion in deposits — is Creditbank, a player that aims to be the lender of first resort to Lebanon’s private sector enterprises. The bank achieved 20 percent growth in deposits in 2013 to reach $2.3 billion at year-end.