Sunday 27, April 2014 by Robin Amlôt
Iraqi-Lebanese Banking Conference in Beirut encourages Lebanese banks to look to Iraq
The Iraqi-Lebanese Banking Conference was held in Beirut, on the 25-26 April 2 014 under the patronage of HE Riad Salame, Governor of Central Bank of Lebanon and HE Governor of Central Bank of Iraq Dr Abdul Basit Turki Saeed. The conference was organised by Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group in collaboration with the two organising committees from both the Central Bank of Lebanon and the Central Bank of Iraq. Participating organisations included, the Iraqi Private Banks League, the Iraqi National Investment Commission, the Lebanese and Iraqi banking sector, Association of Banks of Lebanon and Iraq, banking and financial experts.
Among the conference recommendations:
Overall Discussion of the Lebanese and Iraqi economic scene and the solutions for the current challenges, as well as the future opportunities. This includes the strategy and monetary policy of the Central Bank of Lebanon and that of the Central bank of Iraq. The aim is to develop the financial and banking economy through the participation of the banks and their foreign branches, in developing the economies of both countries. In addition to developing the technical capabilities of the banking sector it will also include the transfer of knowledge of the experience of the Central bank of Lebanon in terms of payment systems to the Central Bank of Iraq.
Encourage foreign companies and investors in both countries to enter the Lebanese and Iraqi markets with more vigour, in light of the efforts being made by both Central banks towards creating a legislative and banking environment inductive to this.
Develop the roles of the banking sector in both the quality and effectiveness of services offered through the provision of secure credit facilities and sound investments in both countries.
Encourage the Role of foreign investment and benefit from the available opportunities in both countries such as the development of the infrastructure, housing programs, and other priority sectors in accordance to the Investment laws applied in both countries.
Encourage Lebanese and Iraqi banks to cooperate and open branches and offices in their respective countries, as well as offer reciprocal credit lines to develop economic sectors.
Exchange banking, financial and economic experience of Central Banks in both countries, to develop the banking functions through a cooperative committee that will be formed by both.
Cooperation on money laundry issues and terrorism financing.
Motivate banks operating in each respective country to adhere to the governmental rules and regulations, laws and corporate governance structures.
Encourage the Iraqi Credit facilities company to develop its role to ensure the provisioning of huge credit. This will be carried out by increasing its capital within acceptable boundaries which will ensure its ability to provide such credit by a 75% ratio of its financial capacities. This will help to increase the credit to capital ratio utilised to develop economic sector.
Increase cooperation and coordination avenues between Association of Banks in Lebanon and Iraqi Private Banks League, and to set future meetings between both organisation in Baghdad and Beirut.
Create a joint committee that includes the Iraqi Private Banks League, Association of Banks in Lebanon, to follow up on recommendations and work to implement them in accordance to both Central Banks decisions and directives.
A total of 48 local and foreign banks currently operate in Iraq including seven state banks. There are seven Lebanese Banks active in Iraq and four more have applied for licenses to open branches in different Iraqi cities. More than 75 per cent of Iraqi financial system assets derive from banks while state banks in Iraq account for 86 per cent of bank assets and 69 per cent of credits.