(Changes customer deposits growth in last paragraph to $2
billion from $7.4 billion, which is for the banking sector)
BEIRUT Jan 21 Lebanese lender Audi Bank
said its net profit rose 5 percent in 2012 as it
strengthened its position in its home market and in Egypt and
Net profit for the year rose to $384 million in the face of
difficult economic conditions in the region, and consolidated
assets rose 8.9 percent on the year to $31.3 billion at
end-December, Lebanon's biggest lender by assets said in a
statement on Monday.
Audi Bank said the earnings increase was mainly due to
consolidating its position in its domestic market, asset growth
in Egypt and the launch of its Turkish subsidiary, which fully
offset the contraction in activity in war-torn Syria.
The "development strategy in Turkey will revolve around the
establishment of a network of close to 100 branches and build an
asset and a profit base that would allow the Turkish subsidiary
to rank second to Lebanon within the Group," it said.
Lebanese banks have been hit by a slowdown in domestic
economic growth, turmoil in neighbouring Syria and broader
uncertainty in the Middle East after uprisings swept the region.
Audi Bank said the growth of its customer deposits grew by
8.1 percent in 2012, the equivalent of $2 billion, moving from
$24.8 billion at end-December 2011 to $26.8 billion at
(Reporting by Oliver Holmes)