Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lebanon's Behemoth - The Audi-Saradar Group

These are some crazy figures... check them out!

- In June of 2004, the group had assets of $9.75 billion, equal to 48 percent of GDP and 15 percent of the banking sector.

- The group is the largest employer in Lebanon with a total staff of 1,959

- Profits in 2004 were $71.3 million, a 31.5 percent rise on the previous year

- By 2005, assets reached$10.5 billion, around 80 percent of which were deposits rather than loans.

- By the end of 2004, shareholders' equity reached $686 million, one of the highest capitalization levels in the sector.


Sources:

Lebanon Oportunities
Emerging Lebanon 2005

11 comments:

rami said...

It's high time for the Lebanese economy to start focusing on the productice and industrial sectors rather than relying merely on banking and finance.

Charles Malik said...

Raja,
The Lebanese government is the largest employer in Lebanon. Within the government, the Army is the single highest employer.

Audi-Saradar is then the largest private employer in Lebanon. In a state-run society, that's not saying all that much, especially given that they employ less than 2,000 people.

I wonder where Sanita stands.

Raja said...

a state-run society? I'm not exactly sure your conception of a state-run society and mine are the same, LP. But, you're right in saying that the larget employer in Lebanon is the state. It's just too bad that the state happens to be the employer of last resort in Lebanon's case - as it is in all third world countries.

As for Sanita, it is a distant 20th with 560 employees. Here is a list of the top 10 employers:

Audi-Saradar......................1,959
Hawa Chicken......................1,400
Byblos............................1,300
SGBL Group........................1,050
BLOM..............................1,000
Banque de la Mediterranee.........999
Fransabank........................981
InterContinental Group............923
Lemantic Ltd (home appliances)....900
Credit Libanais...................900

Raja said...

Notice how 7 out of the 10 are banks? The others are food-processing, home-apliances and tourism.

Doha said...

Trust me, Raja, when I tell you that even first world countries' governments are employers of last resort in many ways.

Faysal said...

Huh? Well firstly, I reckon SMLC (Pepsi) is probably the largest employer...But more importantly, the fact that you link the bank's assets to GDP is flawed and frightening...Flawed because so little contribution to GDP (or multiplier effect) is coming from the banking sector. Frightening because unless the banking sector gets more aggressive in lending to the private sector, then the nominal amount of assets wouldn;t mean diddly...plus their exposure to the incestous government paper makes all Lebanese banks, hollow sand castles...vulnerable to any large wave...
Peace

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I am glad that there are some sectors that aren't bankrupting. Banking is the activity that needs to be developped because it can bring a lot of wealth to the country.

Ramzi, you think with XVIIIth century economics. If it makes money then it's a productive sector. Services are a production that can be exported. Banks create wealth for the country.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Raja the ratio of the bank assets to GDP doesn't mean anything. You're comparing apples and Bananas. GDP measures the value created by the country, not the value of the country's assets.

This is approximately how GDP is measured: you buy wood at 150$ and that you create a chair with it that you sell at 190$. You destroyed the wood, but you created a chaire, therefore the value that was created amounted to 190-150=40, your work added 40$ to the GDP. I am simplfying, but you get the idea.

If you want to have a meaningful ration, you should use the bank's net income, not the bank's assets.

Hubert said...

I don't think this is necessarily goos news (the fact that banks are making huge profits).
This does not help the lebanese people. There is absolutely no redistribution, very few positive trickle down effects.
The banks constitute a powerful private interest group that sometimes try to bring down fiscal reforms.
What we need is to boost our industrial sector, our high technology and productive sectors, and we need to get these bankers to pay more taxes, and to institute a progressive income tax for all Lebanese rather than the heavy indirect taxes that we have now.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

Hubert, bank ARE a productive sectors. You don't have a healthy economit without profits