|Bank Audi (Banque Audi sal)|
|Key People||Chief Executive Officer Samir N. Hanna|
|Products||Retail, commercial and investment banking|
Bank Audi, known in its native Lebanon as Banque Audi, has grown rapidly in the Lebanese banking market in recent years both organically and by acquisition to become the country's largest bank overall. Bank Audi oversaw solid revenue growth over 2008 while similar banks around the globe were pounded by the financial crisis
Banque Audi traces its origins to 1830, when Hanna Audi inherited a financial exchange in the city of Sidon, but did not become formally incorporated as the present Banque Audi sal until 1962. In 1995 Bank Audi became the first Lebanese financial institution to issue public equity on international capital markets and in 2004 it closed Lebanon's largest-ever banking merger when it bought Banque Saradar, a top-10 rival. By mid-2006 the new Bank Audi group's assets of US$12.7 billion representated more than half of Lebanon's entire GDP.
Bank Audi, like other Lebanese banks, has benefitted in recent years from a stable monetary environment created by the Bank of Lebanon to post impressive results for the past 12 months despite the havoc wreaked by 2008's credit crunch on the world's banking sector. In the year to April 2009, Bank Audi's assets increased from 30.769 trillion Lebanese pounds (LL) to LL31.21 while deposits grew from LL25.74 to LL26.34. In an accompanying report to the figures, Bank Audi predicted that Lebanon would likely avoid a "recessionary trap" because its domestic strength should offset regional economic weaknesses in the Middle East.
Chief Executive Officer Samir N. Hanna began his career at Bank Audi in 1963 in Lebanon but relocated to the United Arab Emirates in 1975 to become general manager of a Bank Audi joint venture there. He returned to Bank Audi's Lebanon operations in 1982 and was appointed general manager in 1986.
Bank Audi recently added to its array of local and international accolades by capturing the 2009 Euromoney award for best Lebanese bank, awarded in early June. Managing Director Simon Brady cited a 40% increase in Bank Audi's fee income in 2008 while Chairman and General Manager Georges Achi noted the bank's faster growth rate over its competitors in their acceptance speeches.
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