Lebanese banks still resilient: Salameh

Chairman of the Boards of Governors Riad Salameh delivers a speech during the plenary session of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Tokyo October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

BEIRUT: Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh assured Tuesday that the Lebanese banking and financial sectors have not been affected by the ongoing crisis in the region.

Talking to reporters before his departure to Geneva to participate in a conference, Salameh said that there is still steady growth in the balance sheets and deposits of Lebanese banks despite the current political and security situation in Lebanon and the Middle East.

“Apart from the oil-producing countries, Lebanon was the only country in the region which was not affected by the financial crisis that hit the world in 2008,” he said.

“Lebanon is quite capable of financing its needs both in the public and private sectors,” the governor explained.

Lebanese bank deposits stood at $127 billion in 2012 and this represents three times the country’s GDP.

Salameh also praised the Middle East Airlines (MEA) which he said was still able to make profits despite the difficult working environment in the country.

The Central Bank controls 99 percent of MEA.





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