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Lebanon 2011 Banking Sector Overview

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Prepared by Scherzando Karasu
Lebanon’s halcyon post-colonial days of the 1950’s and 60’s witnessed the emergence of the country’s financial services sector as the entrepĂ´t to the Middle East.
At a time when their banking secrecy legislation enabled Lebanon to position it’s self as a safe regional financial hub, attracting money driven from the wider Arab world. Lebanon served as a magnet to depositors weary of the political upheaval and the socialist and pan-Arab political experiments that were sweeping across the region.
After Lebanon’s civil war between 1975 and 1990 the sector once again became the catalyst for the country’s development and indeed to an extent that of the broader region. With the stability of the Lebanese banking sector reflecting, to a significant extent, its remarkable success in attracting a constantly large stream of foreign funding. Primarily from the Lebanese diaspora, The Gulf and wider Middle Eastern depositors.  
In recent years the banking sector has picke…