BEIRUT: BLOM Bank’s third-quarter profits rose by 4.8 percent to $262.7 million, while Byblos Bank’s net income in the same period fell by 7 percent to $113.6 million.
Bank Audi earlier released its net profits through the third quarter, reporting a decline of 5.5 percent due to an increase in operating expenses following an expansion of branches.
All listed banks on the Beirut bourse are required to release full results each quarter of the year for the sake of transparency.
Bank of Beirut, BEMO and BLC Bank have yet to release their results for the third quarter of 2013.
In a statement, BLOM Bank announced that its net profits through September rose by 4.8 percent to $262.7 million compared to $250.7 million in the same period of 2012.
Many leading Lebanese banks have expanded abroad in a bid to diversify their revenues and reduce their dependence on the local market, which has become very competitive and plagued by various economic and political problems.
BLOM said that its net interest income amounted to $397.8 million through the third quarter, rising by 1 percent from $393.9 million recorded in the same period of 2012. Net fees and commission income increased from $80.4 million in the first nine months of 2012 to $89.7 million in the same period of 2013.
BLOM Bank’s assets totaled $25.7 billion at end-September, up by 2.6 percent from $25.1 billion at end-2012. Net loans and advances stood at $6.2 billion at end-September 2013, 3.4 percent higher than the total of $6 billion at end-2012.
Customers’ deposits amounted to $22.3 billion at end-September 2013, up by 2.4 percent from $21.8 billion at end-2012. Shareholders’ equity totaled $2.3 billion at end-September 2013, compared with $2.2 billion at end-2012.
Byblos Bank also announced that its consolidated net income for the first nine months of 2013 amounted to $113.6 million after it allocated $54.5 million in provisions for credit losses.
Total assets stood at $18 billion as of Sept. 30, registering growth of 6 percent during the first nine months of the year. Customer deposits also grew, rising by 7.6 percent to reach $14.4 billion, while net customer loans increased during the first nine months of 2013 by 3.4 percent to reach $4.3 billion.
Most banks in Lebanon have applied a more conservative lending policy and increased their provisions for nonperforming loans to weather the negative effects of the political stalemate and regional tensions.
The president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Francois Bassil, told The Daily Star earlier that he expected the profits of the Lebanese banks in general to fall in 2013 and 2014.