Lebanon's Blom Bank says 2013 net profit up 5 percent

The BLOM Bank in Beirut. (The Daily Star Photo)

BEIRUT: Blom Bank reported a 5 percent increase in net profit for last year to $353 million despite what it said were difficult conditions in Lebanon, which has suffered an economic slowdown since the 2011 outbreak of conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Total assets rose 4.3 percent to $26.15 billion, while deposits grew 3.6 percent to $22.57 billion. Loans to customers increased by 5.3 percent to $6.34 billion, the bank said.

Lebanon's two other big banks, Audi and Byblos , both reported falls in 2013 net profit this week. Bank Audi's 15.6 percent drop was its second year of falling profit.

The banks, a central pillar of Lebanon's services-dominated economy, have been hit by the slowdown in business since the start of the Syrian conflict.

Syria's civil war has fuelled sectarian violence inside Lebanon, curbed investment and contributed to political paralysis since the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government 10 months ago.





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