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Lebanon BEIRUT: Lebanon's Byblos Bank said on Monday net profit dropped 5.9 percent last year to $169 million, reflecting an economic slowdown in a country hampered by political turmoil and feeling the effects of a 22-month revolt in neighbouring Syria.   The bank said in a statement that it had allocated $66.7 million in provisions for credit losses.   Total assets stood at $17 billion, customer deposits grew by 4.4 percent to $13.4 billion and net customer loans rose by 3 percent to $4.1 billion, the bank said.   Despite the loss, the bank said it had shown "high resilience facing the worldwide economic downturn as well as the political uncertainty in the region."   It said it maintained a conservative strategy during 2012.   Byblos Bank said it successfully issued in December $300 million of 10-year convertible subordinated loans bearing a yearly coupon of 6.5 percent. Copyright Reuters, 2013

Monte Paschi auditors see losses at 550mn euros MILAN: Scandal-hit Italian bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena faces losses of around 550 million euros ($741.1 million) from two derivatives trades, according to a review by external consultants Eidos and PricewaterhouseCoopers cited by Italian daily La Stampa on Monday.   The bank could not be immediately reached for comment.   Italy's third-biggest lender, which needs state loans to stay afloat, last week said opaque derivatives trades, conducted between 2006 and 2009, could cost it up to 720 ...

Kenya Airways passenger growth slowed in Q3 NAIROBI: Kenya Airways recorded slower growth in total passengers carried in its third financial quarter, affected by lower traffic in Europe and flagging performance on African routes, it said on Monday.   The airline, 26 percent owned by Air France-KLM and 29.8 percent by the government, is ranked among the largest carriers in sub-Saharan Africa, alongside South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.   Kenya Airways said passenger numbers rose 3.6 percent to 991,149 in the three months from October ...

Japan TOKYO: Japan's three biggest automakers -- Toyota, Nissan and Honda -- on Monday posted record sales for 2012, as the results confirmed that Toyota recaptured the world's biggest automaker crown.   The rosy results underscored the trio's recovery after Japan's quake-tsunami disaster in 2011 devastated sales and production, and highlighted strong demand in the key Asian and US markets.   That helped offset weakness in debt-hit Europe and a downturn in China stemming from a diplomatic row that sparked a consumer boycott of Japanese goods in China, the world's ...

Eurozone crisis drying up credit to households: ECB FRANKFURT: Bank lending to private households in the euro area contracted again in December as the region's crippling debt crisis continues to put a freeze on demand for credit, data showed on Monday.   Eurozone bank loans to the private sector declined by 0.7 percent in December compared with the same month in 2011 after already shrinking by 0.8 percent the previous month, the European Central Bank said in a statement.   The ECB has long argued that falling ...

Finnair says CEO to step down HELSINKI: The chief executive of Finnair Mika Vehvilaeinen will step down from his post at the end of February, the company announced on Monday, two weeks after rumours surfaced in the media of his departure.   Vehvilaeinen, who helped bring the beleaguered airline to profit in the first nine months of 2012 after two years in the red, is leaving to take over as head of cargo handling equipment group Cargotec, Finnair said.   Finnair has struggled to turn ...

Polish central bank unanimously backed December rate cut WARSAW: The Polish central bank's rate-setting body voted 10-0 to cut interest rates by 25 basis points in December, official voting records showed on Monday. The December reduction in borrowing costs was the second of three quarter percentage point cuts delivered since the 10-member Monetary Policy Council began its monetary easing campaign in November.   The central bank's key rate currently stands at 4.0 percent.     Copyright Reuters, 2013  


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln