According to the central bank’s (BDL) balance sheet, Total assets dropped by 4.5% since year-start, to end the month of August 2019 at $134.2B. In fact, in July 2019 and in an attempt to improve investors’ confidence, the central bank re-incentivized commercial banks to attract fresh dollars as deposits into the country. In return, it enabled banks to offer attractive yields close to 14% on their fresh USD deposits and offered them 2% loans in LBP in return for their dollars which will be placed at the central bank at a rate close to 11%. As a result, from mid-July, BDL added $1.7B to its foreign assets which settled at $38.7B by end-August 2019.
Meanwhile, BDL’s Securities portfolio (24.9% of total assets) added 8.3% year-to-date (YTD) to settle at $33.4B by August 2019. This is mainly due to BDL subscribing to T-Bills to fill the gap left by commercial banks that are shying away from TBills as a result of non-attractive yields offered on government papers to the market.
In their turn, Loans to the local financial sector (11.2% of total assets) fell from $33.6B in December 2018 to $15.1B in August 2019. As for the Gold assets (grasping 10.5% of total assets), they rose by 19.6% YTD to stand at $14.1B, noting the price of gold jumped from $1,282.7 per ounce end December 2018 to $1,519.8 per ounce by August 2019.
On the liabilities side, Financial Sector Deposits (82.1% of BDL’s total liabilities) lost 8% YTD to settle at $110.1B in August 2019 while Public sector deposits (2.9% of total liabilities) decreased by 22.4% YTD to stand at $3.9B over the same period.
Annual Total Assets at BDL in August ($B)