The year 2015 proved to be another challenging year for Lebanon. The private and public sectors, for which Lebanese banks are the main financiers, had a tough run. According to the BLOM Lebanon PMI, the activity of the private sector receded in 2015: Not only is the PMI below the 50 points mark separating economic expansion from economic recession but it drifted further away from that mark during the year going from 49.5 in January to 47.9 in December. The fiscal deficit for the first 11 months of 2015, widened by 7.17% year-on-year (y-o-y) to $3.24B and gross public debt grew by 5.63% y-o-y to $70.3B in 2015.
Amidst these tough operating conditions, Alpha banks showed resilience and strong adaptive skills. The banks retained healthy asset quality and liquidity ratios and pursued their long tradition of conservative banking by accumulating provisions for credit losses despite the low levels of doubtful loans. Alpha banks also benefitted from the loyal depositor base to weather the challenging environment. The balance sheet and income statement of Alpha banks all reveal healthy but slower growth rates in 2015.
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Alpha Banks in 2015 – Robust Performance under Tough Circumstances