Lebanese bank to operate in Bahrain
by Gulf Daily News
At a high-profile ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Spa attended by Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) Governor Rasheed Al Maraj and other VIPs it was announced the bank will have a paid-up capital of BD7.5 million.
The bank's chairman and general manager Dr Joseph Torbey said the entry of the bank into the Bahrain marked a new bond between two of the Middle East's main financial centres.
"Beirut is the financial centre of the Levant and Bahrain is the financial centre of the Gulf," he said.
Credit Libanais' Bahrain branch adds to its network of 58 branches in Lebanon, branch in Limassol, Cyprus and a representative office in Montreal, Canada.
Dr Torbey thanked the CBB and Bahrain's government for their assistance in facilitating the establishment of the bank and revealed that the bank's first branch in the GCC would be used as its base for conducting business around the Gulf.
"There is no doubt Bahrain is the financial hub of the region and we will look to serve our operations in the Gulf from our office in this country," he said.
Bahrain overtook Beirut as the main financial destination for a lot of investors in the Middle East during a decade of conflict in Lebanon in the 1980s - but Dr Torbey said the country's banking sector had bounced back and is performing strongly.
"The size of the Lebanese banking sector compared to the country's GDP is very impressive. The industry has a consolidated balance sheet of more than $80bn," he said.
The bank will aim to offer customers retail, corporate, investment and Islamic banking through its activities.