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Lebanon-Determinants of Commercial Bank Deposits in a Regional Financial Center


  • Harald Finger
  • Heiko Hesse


This paper empirically examines the demand for commercial bank deposits in Lebanon, a regional financial center. With Lebanon's high fiscal deficits financed largely by domestic commercial banks that rely on deposit funding, deposit growth is a key variable to assess government financing conditions. At the macro level, we find that domestic factors such as economic activity, prices, and the interest differential between the Lebanese pound and the U.S. dollar are significant in explaining deposit demand, as are external factors such as advanced economy economic and financial conditions and variables proxying the availability of funds from the Gulf. Impulse response functions and variance decomposition analyses underscore the relative importance of the external variables. At the micro level, we find that in addition, bank-specific variables, such as the perceived riskiness of individual banks, their liquidity buffers, loan exposure, and interest margins, bear a significant influence on the demand for deposits.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Finger & Heiko Hesse, 2009. "Lebanon-Determinants of Commercial Bank Deposits in a Regional Financial Center," IMF Working Papers 09/195, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/195

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demirguc, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "Determinants of Commercial Bank Interest Margins and Profitability: Some International Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 379-408, May.
    2. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    3. Boyd, John H. & Runkle, David E., 1993. "Size and performance of banking firms : Testing the predictions of theory," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 47-67, February.
    4. Brock, Philip L. & Rojas Suarez, Liliana, 2000. "Understanding the behavior of bank spreads in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 113-134, October.
    5. Beck, Thorsten & Hesse, Heiko, 2009. "Why are interest spreads so high in Uganda?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 192-204, March.
    6. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-1580, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. FERROUHI, El Mehdi, 2017. "Determinants of bank deposits in Morocco," MPRA Paper 79075, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Nys, Emmanuelle & Tarazi, Amine & Trinugroho, Irwan, 2015. "Political connections, bank deposits, and formal deposit insurance," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 83-104.


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