BEIRUT: A leading banker predicted Thursday a further drop in the profits of Lebanese banks in 2013, warning that investment could also plunge due to the standoff over the elections and turmoil in Syria. “Of course, the profits of banks would decline next year. We have maturing treasury bonds that were purchased by banks at high interests” Francois Bassil, chairman of Byblos Bank, told a local television station. He added that the banking sector was keen to fund investment projects, including infrastructure, but investors were shying away because of the regional and local instability.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 28, 2012, on page 5.