The balance sheet of Lebanon’s commercial banks showed Total assets climbed by 8.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) to settle at $222.59B in the first month of 2018.
In details, Reserves (48.49% of total assets) recorded an annual uptick of 21.9% to $107.92B, on the back of Deposits with the central bank rising by an annual 22% to $107.37B. Claims on the resident private sector (24.15% of total assets) also added 5.7% year-on-year (y-o-y), to stand at $53.76B.
In their turn, Foreign assets (10.57% of total) climbed by an annual 1.8% to $23.54B in Jan. 2018. The increase can be attributed to the annual 6.7% rise in Claims on non-resident financial sector to reach $11.97B in 2018.
However, Claims on public sector (13.94% of total assets) dropped by 14.2% y-o-y to $31.03B in January 2018. The decrease can be primarily justified by the lower subscription to T-bills in LBP and Eurobonds, which dropped by 18.2% y-o-y and 9% y-o-y to $16.84B and $14.03B, respectively, as the yields provided by the central bank are more advantageous for commercial banks.
On the liabilities side, the dollarization ratio of private sector deposits grew from 65.84% in January 2017 to 68.44% in January 2018 which is most probably the effect of the November 2017 Hariri crisis which triggered conversions of some LBP deposits into USD amid the brief political uncertainty. In details, Resident private sector deposits (60.1% of total liabilities) recorded a yearly uptick of 3.9% to reach $133.77B in January 2018. It’s worthy to note that the mentioned uptick was nurtured by a 9% y-o-y growth in foreign currencies deposits that reached $84.67B in January 2018, which offset the 3.9% y-o-y decline in LBP deposits that settled at $49.1B. Similarly, Non-resident private sector deposits (15.9% of total) rose by an annual 4.1% to $35.37B in January 2018. This growth came on the back of non-resident deposits in foreign currencies adding 5.5% y-o-y to $31.09B, offsetting the 4.9% y-o-y decline in LBP deposits to $4.29B over the same period.
Total Commercial Banks’ Assets in January (in $B)
Source: Central Bank of Lebanon