According to the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL), the value of cleared checks in the first three months of 2017 rose by an annual 1.28% to reach $17.1B, while the total number of cleared checks of the same period fell slightly by 0.98% to 3.01M checks.
In details, the number and value of checks cleared in Lebanese Pounds (LBP) respectively rose by 5.53% and 10.97% y-o-y to 1.09M and $5.39B by March 2017; however, the number and value of cleared checks in foreign currency respectively fell by yearly 4.31% and 2.63% to 1.92M and $11.72B by March 2017.
Hence, the dollarization rate of cleared checks declined in volume and value from 66.13% and 71.25% by March 2016 to 63.9% and 68.5%, respectively in the first three months of 2017.
It is noteworthy that the value of returned checks registered a 22.63% downtick to $320M over the period, while their volume dropped by an incremental 0.5% y-o-y, to 54,897 checks.
In March 2017 alone, the number and value of cleared checks rose by yearly 5.09% and 10.49% to 1.1M and $6.18B. In details, the volume and value of LBP-checks cleared in March 2017 respectively rose by 10.49% and 23.09% to reach 403,033 and $1.98B; whereas the volume and value of foreign currency checks increased by 2.18% and 5.4% to 693,402 and $4.2B, respectively.
Value of Cleared LBP and Foreign Currency Checks by March (in $M)