According to the Association of Lebanese Banks (ABL), the total number of cleared checks slipped by 0.76% to 12.23 million (M), while the total value of checks rose by a marginal 0.28% year-on-year (y-o-y) to $68.24 billion (B) by the end of 2017.
In details, the volume and value of cleared checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds respectively grew by 7.13% and 8.92% y-o-y, amounting to 4.59M and $21.67B by Dec. 2017. Meanwhile, the number and value of foreign currency-denominated checks fell by 4.97% and 3.29% y-o-y, to 7.63M and $46.56B, respectively, by end 2017.
As such, the dollarization rate of cleared checks slid in volume and value from 65.21% and 70.76% in 2016 to 62.44% and 68.24%, respectively, in 2017.
It is worthy to note that the number of returned checks grew by an annual 2.88% to 234,333 checks, whereas the total value of returned checks shrank by 10.56% to settle at $1.43B over the same period.
In the month of December 2017, the total number and value of cleared checks rose by 6.51% and 8.65% y-o-y, to settle at 1.1M checks worth $6.26B. In details, the volume and value of LBP-checks cleared in December rose by 11.86% and 13.43% y-o-y to reach 421,176 checks worth $2.13B. Similarly, the volume and value of foreign currency checks also increased by 3.4% and 6.34% to 670,979 checks and $4.13B, respectively.
Value of Cleared Checks by December (in $M)