Economics & Policy articles

Crisis management at the central bank

Crisis management at the central bank

For more than a decade, Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, and the Banking Control Commission (BCC), an independent administrative body established at the BDL in 1967 to supervise banks, have maintained a stable banking and financial system. Both have provided the banking sector with strong support, set up a good regulatory environment to

Banks with buying power

Last month’s issue of EXECUTIVE profiled the 10 mostly likely medium and small Lebanese banks to be acquired or merged. As we now seek to identify the potential acquirers, we shift our spotlight towards the banks financially capable and strategically oriented to undertake M&A activities on the buy-side of the table. Due to the concentration

Take a hike

Crude oil and its derivatives epitomize the notion that besides matching bids and offers, there often lies in the background a multitude of factors, which not only affect prices but also, and more importantly, the perception about supply, capacity, consumption and relative tightness/availability of the product. The movements in crude oil have been, to a

Pushing for consolidation

The Banque du Liban (BDL), through its Banking Control Commission (BCC) has so far done a good job in ensuring that the Lebanese banking sector remains stable and sound, proving to be an able, proactive regulator that has come to the rescue and support of the banking sector whenever needed. For the record, the BCC’s

Audi merger sets the stage

The merger of Banque Audi and Banque Saradar was the best thing to happen to the Lebanese banking sector for many years and the biggest merger/acquisition since the Byblos-Banque Beyrouth pour le Commerce and Bank of Beirut-Beirut Riyad Bank deals in 1995 and 2001, respectively. Although the banking sector has been consolidating for the last

Safe from harm?

Is Lebanon a genuine emerging economy? If so, how has the country been able to escape unscathed through the domino-like collapse of new entrants into the global financial architecture. After the implosion of several Asian “tiger” economies and the more recent Russian debt crisis, it seemed that the Lebanese bubble would burst. The common reflections

2004 national budget

There was much debate and not a little bad feeling, but in the end Parliament, after a three-day marathon debate, approved the 2004 state draft budget on April 7, with a vote of 65-31 and one abstention. It was a more realistic budget to the one originally set for 2003, probably due to the government’s

Trouble with stocks

The re-opening of the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) in 1996 offered local businesses the means to raise equity funding to finance restructuring and development plans, as well as expansion strategies. It also coincided nicely with the rise in emerging market equities, and the initial listings of Lebanese companies and banks, such as Solidere, Banque Audi

Revitalizing banking

Despite its proud regional reputation, Lebanon’s banking sector has faced a number of hurdles in the past few years. Strong regional competition, stemming from the spawning of a number of large-scale Arab banks – mainly in the Gulf – have created obstacles for a sector seeking expansion, while a high level of liquidity, a large

Moneyed marriage

Following the failed merger talks between Banque Audi and Banque Libano-Francaise in 2002, few anticipated the announcement of last month’s $159 million merger acquisition of Banque Audi and Banque Saradar. Moreover, such a merger differs significantly from the type of consolidation sought by the central bank, namely a consolidation of the smaller, less efficient, banks

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