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The formation of the Cabinet gives impetus to investments and Kafalat loans rise by 18.26% in one year


The formation of the National Interest government last February gave impetus to local, Arab and foreign investments, especially after the agreement reached in drafting the Ministerial Statement.  This has immediately resulted in an improvement in the lending portfolio of Kafalat which annual statistics showed an 18.26% increase in loans (which over the period totaled some 136 new loans compared to 115 for the same period in 2013).
The total value of Kafalat loans increased to LBP 27.84 billion, the equivalent of USD 18.47 million until February 2014, whilst the average value of individual loans decreased to LBP 204.72 million, i.e. USD 135,800. Agriculture and industry sectors received the major part of loans recording 25.21% and 35.29% respectively. According to the data presented by “Kafalat” concerning the distribution of projects up to the month of February in 2014 compared with 2013, approved projects in the agriculture sector increased by 69.5 % with 29 new approved projects (42 new projects until February 2013, compared to 71 new projects until February 2014). Projects in industry also increased by 9.09% with 4 newly approved (44 projects in 2013, against 48 projects in 2014) whereas new investment in tourism dropped by 42.11% falling from 19 projects in 2013 to 11 projects in 2014.
In terms of the geographical distribution of Kafalat loans, Mount Lebanon scored the biggest percentage of the loans with 36.77%, followed by Beqaa (25%), the North (14.71%), the South (10.29%), Nabatieh (8.82%), and Beirut (4.41%). With regards to foreign investments, the service sector scored highest with 28.3% followed by industry (16.7%) and media (15%).  Lebanon was thus able to attract 60 new foreign companies in 2013 which are affiliates on representation office, compared to 53 companies in 2012 according to sources of IDAL )The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon(.
In addition to the above, the association of Lebanese Industrialists was able to open four new industrial zones in Tyr, Jezzine and Zahrani in the South and Terbol in the Beqaa, which will offer local companies tax waivers given by IDAL for a period of 10 years with the aim of providing incentives to attract capital to these areas and to limit migration from rural to urban areas to through the development of local economies.
Source: Al-Safir 18 March 2014

For more information about the industrial zones, please review the news that was published previously on WEEPortal:
Industrialists launch four industrial cities which will create 20,000 new employment opportunities, on 18/2/2014

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