Last Updated: Fri Dec 30, 2011 09:36 am (KSA) 06:36 am (GMT)

From The Daily Star: Banks’ 2012 growth hinges on regional changes

BEIRUT: When the financial crisis ravaged the global economy in 2009, Lebanon’s banking sector profited from relative domestic political stability to achieve record-high growth.

However, 2011, unlike any year in the past decade, has put the country’s resilient banking sector under pressure on three fronts simultaneously.

For the first time in many years, the banking sector, which is three times bigger than the Lebanese economy, is faced with a global financial slowdown and internal political uncertainty, as well as regional unrest, particularly in Lebanon’s larger neighbor Syria.

The slow growth trend of the banking sector in 2011 will continue at least through the first half of 2012 and may see an improvement in the second half of the year if the gloomy regional picture brightens, banking officials told The Daily Star.

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