The Lebanese economy has been struggling during the first 3 months of 2019 over a stagnating economy, uncertainty around the operating environment and growing geopolitical tensions in the region. The BLOM Lebanon Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped from 46.9 in February to 46.3 in March driven by a sharp contraction in output. In figures, the country’s debt burden stood at $86.2B in Q1 2019. In turn, Lebanon’s fiscal deficit composing 10% of GDP totaled $5.8B by Nov. 2018 according to the latest statistics provided by the Ministry of Finance. Moreover, Lebanon’s balance of payments (BOP) in Q1 2019 showed a substantial $2 billion worth of transactions flew out of the country, compared to a lower BOP deficit of $198.2 million recorded by March 2018. In details, the net foreign assets (NFAs) of BDL and the Lebanese commercial banks slipped by $1.1 billion and $899 million, respectively, in Q1 2019. Although the banking sector is considered to be resilient and the backbone of the Lebanese economy, it’s performance was affected in Q1 by the difficult conditions.
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Alpha Banks Performance Metrics for Q1 2019