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Credit Libanais

Pioneering Role
Credit Libanais (CL) has become a leading retail bank by virtue of its innovations:  modernizing its retail lending policies and procedures as well as recruiting highly qualified, talented personnel to advance CL’s lead in electronic banking and technology development. A corporate division has been created to maintain a sharper focus on large, domestic, corporate customers. In addition, Credit Libanais has served a pioneering role in the country’s card enterprise and payment network.

History
Credit Libanais was established on July 12, 1961, as a Lebanese joint stock company.  The bank’s ownership is split between Capital Investment Holding (Manama, Bahrain) and Capital Investment Holding sal (Lebanon), both controlled by GCC country investors. Together, these two companies hold majority ownership of Credit Libanais shares.  The remaining 2.98% is owned by approximately 75 individuals.

In 1994, Credit Libanais became the first bank to merge its operation in Lebanon by acquiring First Phoenician Bank and Capital Trust Bank. In 1996, Credit Libanais became the first Lebanese bank to have its Eurobond listed on an international stock exchange.

Activities
Today, Credit Libanais is engaged in full-service banking activities including retail, corporate and investment banking as well as mortgage lending. Through its subsidiaries it is also active in insurance, data processing, credit card issuing, leasing, and real estate investment. Through its fully owned investment bank, Credit Libanais Investment bank (CLIB), Credit Libanais has a seat at the Beirut Stock Exchange and undertakes stock market transactions.

On a daily basis, the bank’s foreign section handles a large volume of letters of credit and money transfers. Its dealing room is active in money placed and money taken, investment in bonds and CDs. Credit Libanais has acted as co-lead manager in numerous international issues in foreign currencies on behalf of the Lebanese government and private institutions.

International Rating
Thomson Bank watch (TBW), the international  rating agency, has affirmed all the ratings of Credit Libanais (CL) . CL is regarded as the  the eighth  largest Lebanese bank in terms of assets and one of the country's most prominent financial institutions ". TBW maintained the following advanced ratings of Credit Libanais:

Issuer rating                                     A/B
Local Currency Short Term              1
Local Currency Long Term            AA-
Global Senior Debt                     
     B+

TBW noted: " the above-mentioned ratings are the highest ratings given to a Lebanese bank. They reflect Credit Libanais‘ positioning , profitability and ability to structure its activities in conformance with internationally adopted standards, which has enabled it to expand its overall product base.

According to TBW Vice President Nicholas Photiades, " Credit Libanais’ ratings are partly based on the bank's strong capacity, as well as past performance, in the restructuring and reengineering of its activities. TBW believes that the bank, through its quality management, is highly capable of implementing its long-term strategy, which is realistic and proactive. The existing branch network, which gives Credit Libanais one of the most extensive branch franchises in Lebanon, should contribute significantly towards a rise in profitability and the development of a strong market share in retail activities ".

The initial objective of Credit Libanais to become one of the main players in retail/consumer banking has so far reaped significant benefits, as reflected by a sharp 52% rise in net profits at year end 1999. The bank's ROAA and ROAE appeared much improved at 1.43% and 24.65% over 1998 and the reduction of the cost efficiency ratio from 69.5% in 1998 to 59.9% in 1999, reflected a successful advance in the restructuring program. CL should face the future with confidence, as it has established  an efficient and modern internal infrastructure, which should guarantee a steadily rising income stream for the coming years.

Asset quality has remained constant over the last few years. Non performing loan coverage was adequate at 75%, while the proportion of bad loans to  gross loans decreased significantly from 26.5% in 1998 to 11.8% in 1999. Liquidity was very high, with liquid assets covering more than 80% of deposits. Funding is recurrent, as the bank benefits from a large domestic branch network and a wide range of retail products, which continuously attract deposits.

Capitalization can be regarded as one of the highest in the country, with a BIS CAR of 16.73%, and equity/assets and equity/loans ratios of 5.9%  and 25.65% respectively.

For more information about Credit Libanais, please contact:
Credit Libanais S.A.L.
P.O. Box: 6729/16
Beirut
Lebanon
Tel : (9611) 325072 / 332889
Fax: (9611) 602615
E-Mail: credlib@inco.com.lb - fsader@inco.com.lb
URL: www.creditlibanais.com.lb
General Manager: Dr. Josef Tarabeya
Coordinator: Mr. Fadi Sader, Secretary of Loans Committee

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