Leban-on's banking industry is "unaffected" by Moody's Investors Service's decision to lower the credit outlook on lenders to negative from stable, central bank governor Riad Salameh said.
"We were surprised that they did not talk to us to have the full picture before they did this," Salameh said from Beirut yesterday.
"The Lebanese banking sector is not exposed, according to our stress tests, in a way that could jeopardise their performance."
Moody's lowered the outlook on banks' credit risk last Monday as slower economic growth and political instability in the Arab world threatens Lebanese banks with assets and loans linked to countries such as Egypt and Jordan.
Article continues below
Banks "are healthy with very high liquidity over 30 per cent", Salameh said. "The profits of the banks are stable and were not negatively affected." Lebanese banks operating outside the country have boosted deposits to $30 billion (Dh110.2 billion) in a year, which is a "show of confidence", the governor said.
Total deposits at all Lebanese banks reached $121 billion at the end of October, 10 per cent more than last year, Salameh said. Moody's "should act more responsibly", he said.
Domestic political wrangling in Lebanon and the uprising in neighbouring Syria against the rule of President Bashar Al Assad, which began about nine months ago, has helped slow the Leban-ese economy.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts the economy will expand between 1 per cent and 2 per cent this year, the slowest pace since 2006, after growing 7.5 per cent in 2010.