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Banks Capable of Weathering Risks, Salameh says.

Lebanese banks are capable of facing any financial, political and security-associated risks due to the conservative system adopted, Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said at the opening of a conference to mark the 90th anniversary of Fransabank.

“Today, Lebanon enjoys a sound financial situation strengthened by the appropriate monetary environment,” according to Salameh, as reported by the National News Agency (NNA).

 

“However, this was achieved through lengthy efforts, with the aim of building up a solid and strong system, characterized by its conservatism, and well-equipped to face any financial risk, political risk or security-associated risk, he said.

 

“The conservative model that we adopted has borne fruit, as shown by the progress recorded in the balance sheet of the Central Bank and of Lebanese banks in general.”

“Our conservative banking model is based on a good capitalization. Lebanese Banks are meeting already the 7% solvency ratio required by Basle 3. We have put an objective to reach the 12% solvency ratio by 2015, as stipulated in the BDL recent Circular and agreed upon with banks,” he said.

 

“Moreover, a 30% minimum liquidity was imposed more than 15 years ago, bringing down the level of leverage to 10 times against the own funds of a bank.”

 

“We also maintain a strict division between commercial banks and investment banks, since they play totally different roles. We have also established specific regulations that govern derivatives and structured products, as well as credit to the real estate sector and to financial instruments,” he added.

 

Beirut

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