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Blom Bank’s first-half profit rises 1 percent to $165.3 mln

A Blom Bank’s Branch in Beirut, Lebanon. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: BLOM Bank SAL, the second-biggest Lebanese lender by assets, posted first-half profit in 2012 of $165.3 million, an increase of only 1 percent compared to the same period of 2011.

BLOM set aside provisions of $60 million as a “precautionary measure,” the Beirut-based lender said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

BLOM Bank’s profit attributable to shareholders of the parent was $159 million in the first half of last year, according to its financial results posted on Bloomberg.

It said assets rose $660 million to $23.8 billion, and deposits grew $568 million to $20.9 billion.

The bank declined to say why profits jumped only by 1 percent in the first six months of this year, although most banks generally say the delicate situation in Lebanon and the volatile conditions in Syria are the primary reason behind the flat performance.

“BLOM Bank came second after Audi in terms of profits, growing its earnings by 1.04 percent to reach $165.26 million, while Byblos profits marginally declined by 0.08 percent to $80.36 million,” the bank said.

“When looking at profitability ratios, which represent the bank’s ability to generate earnings from its equity and assets, BLOM Bank registered the highest rate of return on equity at 17.55 percent with a return on assets of 1.41 percent.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 01, 2012, on page 5.

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