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lebanon  central bankLebanon’s central bank said on Thursday it would not allow any mergers between the top 11 banks in the country.

“With regards to the issue of bank mergers, the Lebanese central bank will not agree to any merger operation between the top 11 banks in Lebanon,” a statement said.

“But … (the central bank) encourages merger operations between small and medium-sized banks if they want to do so.”

It was not immediately clear why the central bank had released the policy decision at this time. One banking executive in Lebanon who refused to be named said a reason could be to avoid the creation of a super-sized bank.

“When two of the top banks merge in Lebanon, they’ll create one super-sized bank and so there will be lots of branches closing and many layoffs,” he said.

Among Lebanon’s top banks are Bank Audi, Blom Bank and Byblos Bank. Reuters

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