BEIRUT: The latest data on Lebanon’s banking sector revealed that the total assets held by Lebanese commercial banks reached $144.86 billion by the end of May 2012, up by 8.07 percent from May 2011 and 3.05 percent from December 2011. Claims on resident and non-resident private sectors grew at a faster pace than deposits, jumping by 6.39 percent from the year’s start and 11.87 percent year over year to $41.89 billion. Claims in local currency rallied 19.92 percent year over year to $9.07 billion, while claims in foreign currency surged 9.83 percent to $32.82 billion. Moreover, claims on the public sector increased by 2.93 percent to $29.16 billion. On the liabilities’ side, private sector deposits, representing 82.08 percent of total assets, reached $118.9 billion, up by 7.63 percent from May 2011 and 2.75 percent from the year’s start. As for the dollarization rate of resident and non-resident private sector deposits, it reached 64.91 percent by end of May, down from 65.92 percent in December and 66.45 percent in May 2011.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 13, 2012, on page 5.