The value of loans benefiting from these guarantees amount to $93 million in 2016, the same figure as that of the previous year, according to data obtained from Kafalat.
“Last year was relatively more stable security-wise than 2015 which has encouraged more business people to apply for loans and guarantees,” said Yolla Sarieddine Kafalat’s Deputy General Manager.
The share of the tourism sector in the total number of guaranteed loans rose to 17 percent from 11 percent in 2015. The share of the industrial sector dropped to 31 percent from 34 percent.
The share of the tourism sector increased as this sector is more sensitive to positive security developments than other sectors.
“Many tourism projects were carried out in Mount Lebanon, especially in places like Faraya and Broumana because Lebanese expats and European tourists mostly prefer mountain resort towns,” Sarieddine said.
Mount Lebanon continues to hold the lion’s share in the number of guarantees received. The percentage of guarantees granted to SMEs in Mount Lebanon rose to 43 percent from 38 percent while the shares of the other regions declined.
Beirut’s share dropped to five percent from seven percent. The share of the North fell to 11 percent from 12 percent and that of the South went down to 12 percent from 13 percent in 2015.
The average value of one loan was $131,000 in 2016 down from $138,000 a year earlier.