File - Secretary General of Arab Banks Association Wissam H. Fattouh attends a conference in Beirut, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The drop in international oil prices and heavy regulations will slow the growth of Arab banks in 2015, the secretary-general of the Union of Arab Banks said Wednesday.Fattouh, however, assured that Lebanese banks would not be affected by the drop in oil prices, adding that growth in profits and assets in 2015 would be reasonable.Fattouh added that most of the profits of oil companies tend to pour into the Arab banks, so naturally when net incomes sink so will the profits of lenders in Arab countries.Arab banks recorded a growth of 10 percent in 2013 compared to GDP growth of 3.4 percent in the Arab states.Fattouh underlined the importance of real economic growth in the Middle East, saying Arab banks should finance this growth through development projects.
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