The year 2018, was an atypical year for Lebanon that witnessed varied political, social and economical situations. The beginning of the year witnessed positive milestones as the international conferences with CEDRE being the apex; and the national elections to name a few. Also the second half of the year, in the aftermath of the elections witnessed tensed political environment, and delay in the formation of a new Government.

In these challenging economic conditions, the Banking Sector realized an acceptable performance in 2018, as evidenced by the commercial banks’ Balance-Sheet increasing by 13.5% to reach USD 249.5 billion in December 2018 and total deposits of the sector increasing by 3% to reach USD 174 billion in December 2018.

In this context, IBL Bank, that is ranked amongst the top Lebanese banks in terms of total assets according to Bankdata, registered a strong year 2018 over-performing the sector in most Key Performance Indicators, while continuing in its conservative strategy and strong risk management practices, as evidenced by IBL Bank’s total assets growing by 14% in 2018, while the Bank’s shareholders’ Equity increased by 10% during the year. The strong growth in Shareholders’ Equity is imputed to the solid and sustainable capacity of IBL Bank in internal capital growth thanks to healthy and steady increase of net profits over the years. In addition, it is important to note that thanks to its conservative approach, the Bank enjoys a strong liquidity as evidenced by IBL Bank enjoying between the highest net primary liquidity to deposits ratio in the market.

As a consequence of the Bank’s strategic directions, and despite the double taxation that was imposed on Lebanese banks who witnessed as a consequence a decrease in their net profits during 2018, IBL Bank realized in contrast an 11% growth in Net Income during 2018, leading to the Bank enjoying the highest Return on Average Equity (ROAE) and the second highest Return on Average Assets (ROAA) in the Lebanese Banking sector according to Bankdata.

Finally, following to the Bank’s healthy risk management framework, and the strong capitalization mainly constituted of core Tier 1 capital, IBL Bank is, as at December 2018, fully compliant with the Basel 3 Accord. In fact, as at December 2018, the Bank’s Common Equity Tier I Capital Ratio was 16.27%, the Tier I Capital Ratio was 18.77%, and the Total Capital Ratio was 30%. I would like to close by grabbing this opportunity to thank our customers and correspondent banks for their continuous trust and support as well as the Board of Directors and the entire Group’s staff for their precious insights and efforts to push the Bank towards higher summits