Lebanese Banks Eye Iraq

By John Lee.

Lebanese banks intend to expand their operations in Iraq, the president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon said on Friday.

Addressing a Lebanese-Iraqi banking conference in Beirut, Francois Bassil said:

The size of the Lebanese banks in Iraq may be too small compared to the huge Iraqi market.

"Iraq’s seven state-owned banks have 80 percent of assets and 90 percent of total deposits in the country. However, we are going to the Iraqi market to serve new clients.

There are seven Lebanese banks operating in Iraq, and authorities in Baghdad are expected to issue three more licenses soon, according to Lebanon's Daily Star.

The president of the private banking league in Iraq, Adnan al-Jalalbi, said:

The number of banks operating in Iraq does not correspond with the number of population.

"We have one bank for every 45,000 citizens, while the average should be one bank for every 10,000.”

(Source: Daily Star)

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