Finance articles

Number crunching the first quarter

Number crunching the first quarter

At a time when the observation of global banking remains as interesting as ever, the first quarter of 2015 has seen Lebanese banks stay their course, at least as far as growth of profits of the country’s six publicly listed banks, which between them reported over $279 million in net profits for the period that

A fine time for fintech

No, fintech is not the code name for the joint research and development capabilities of Finland based Nokia and France’s Alcatel-Lucent. And for those who are troubled by the idea of being unaware of the latest buzzword, the term is not actually all that new. Blending the words financial and technology, fintech has been around

The evolving role of the central bank

“The overall duty of the [Lebanese Central] Bank shall be the safeguard[ing] of currency as fundamental guarantee for permanent economic and social development, and more specifically: – safeguarding a sound Lebanese currency – safeguarding economic stability – safeguarding the basic structure of the banking system – developing the monetary and financial market” Article 70, The Code of Money and Credit

For better or for worse

It was the financial markets’ first big surprise of the year. In January 2015, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Alpine republic’s central bank, scrapped its 1.20 ceiling that limited the franc’s ascendancy vis-à-vis the euro. The franc suffered a rare appreciation shock that has been reflected by a higher valuation versus the euro throughout

To fee or not to fee

The question of whether banks should structure their incomes on the premise of interest alone has long been answered in the negative. Diversification of risks and revenue streams have led institutions far beyond being mere lenders to generating income from services, transaction fees, trading, money management fees, commissions and the like. Even before the Great

The brave new world of banking

Banking is on the move. Today, the sector has turned into something that couldn’t have been pictured some 20 to 30 years ago. New regulatory frameworks such as Basel III have placed more pressure on banks to regulate and mitigate risks. Their internal structures have been reshuffled by creating whole new teams and compliance departments,

The banking turnover

What BankMed is to the Hariris, BLOM Bank to the Azharis, BLC and SGBL to the different lines of Sehnaouis, Bank Audi to the Audis and Creditbank to the Khalifes is perhaps not as clear as a bell when it comes to determining ownership percentages to the decimal. The shareholdings become particularly blurred when banks are

On a charm offensive

The ‘Open Sesame’ for unlocking what made BankMed, one of Lebanon’s top five banks by both assets and deposits, move into Dubai this spring is ‘opportunity.’ This is no coincidence. This term and the art of seeking out opportunities were the key words by which Mohamed Ali Beyhum, BankMed’s executive general manager, describes the bank’s