(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The raging war in some parts of Iraq hasn't deterred Lebanese banks from expanding in the oil rich country, said bankers at a banking forum at Phoenicia Hotel.The Iraqi banking forum was organized by Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal to discuss the various challenges facing Lebanese banks operating in Iraq, in addition to giving an overview about the country's economic and financial outlook. "This amount is not really big relative to the Iraqi market and Lebanese banks were capable of meeting this criterion," he said.He added that Lebanese banks had a great interest in operating in Iraq. Handal also spoke with The Daily Star about challenges facing Lebanese banks in Iraq. Ali al-Allag, acting governor at the Iraq's central bank, said that Lebanese banks are expanding their presence in Iraq while emphasizing the need to strengthen cooperation between Lebanese and Iraqi financial institutions.Joseph Torbey, chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, said Lebanese banks could be of a great support and help to Iraqi banks because of their great expertise and the broad range of products they offer including services for the retail and corporate sectors.He added that Lebanese banks also have great expertise in electronic banking, which can benefit the Iraqi banking sector.
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