After legitimate delay approved by Banque Du Liban’s (BDL), BLOM Bank announced today its audited financial results for year 2019. The results obtained were largely as expected, and affected by the impact of the financial and economic crisis that has struck Lebanon since October 2019. Net profits came to $115.411 million, lower by 77.44% from year 2018. In terms of balance sheet items, assets stood at $33.296 billion, lower by 9.38%; deposits were $26.462 billion, lower by 2.78%; loans decreased to $5.814 billion, less by 18.85%; and shareholders’ equity declined to $3.156 billion, less by 3.44%.
Net profits emanated mostly from our units outside Lebanon, especially from our unit operating in Egypt which constituted 43% of consolidated profits. As to our branches operating in Lebanon, they did not generate any profits in 2019, as a result of the provisions that the Bank took in accordance with Banque Du Liban’s (BDL) circulars, so as to cover for the credit risks arising from the current conditions prevailing in Lebanese financial markets.
Moreover, BLOM Bank is required to comply by all BDL circulars as stipulated in the Code of Money and Credit, especially article 208. As a result, the Bank has complied by these circulars when calculating expected credit losses in accordance to the specified ratios listed in Appendix 6 of BDL circular number 44, and as amended by the intermediate circular number 543 issued by BDL on 3/2/2020 for the year 2019 accounts.
Equally important, the Board of Directors has noted and approved the adverse opinion of the external auditors concerning the financial statements of our bank in Lebanon for year 2019. The Board has unanimously decided, for the sake of transparency, to publicize this adverse opinion of the external auditors, and this decision has been approved by the General Assembly.
Last but not least, BLOM Bank would like to take this opportunity to express its regret for all the restrictions that it was obliged to impose — like the rest of the banking sector and in coordination with BDL – and that were applied without favoritism towards any of its clients, shareholders, or employees.