Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Although op­er­at­ing con­di­tions will re­main chal­leng­ing and notwith­stand­ing Moody’s down­grade of Le­banon’s gov­ern­ment bond rat­ing, the rat­ing agency ex­pects the op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment for banks to sta­bilise after years of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion on the back of re­newed po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity driv­ing a mod­est pickup in eco­nomic growth, al­beit from low lev­els. The rat­ing agency fore­casts real GDP growth to pick up slightly to 2.8% in 2017 and 3.0% in 2018, from 1.8% in 2016 but be­low the 9% av­er­age for 2007-10.

Moody’s, there­fore, con­tin­ues to view the op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment for banks (Macro Pro­file) in Le­banon as “Weak”. This re­flects a very large public debt over­hang, wide fis­cal and cur­rent ac­count deficits, and re­gional po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity. These fac­tors are bal­anced against a re­silient bank de­posit base sup­port­ing gov­ern­ment fund­ing needs and

BLOM Bank’s stand­alone and long-term de­posit rat­ings re­flect the bank’s strong do­mes­tic mar­ket po­si­tion (ranked as the sec­ond-largest bank in Le­banon in terms of as­sets), as well as its re­silient bot­tom-line prof­itabil­ity, ad­e­quate

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