LebGeeks

A community for technology geeks in Lebanon.

You are not logged in.

#51 October 10 2018

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

joe2k17 wrote:

Hello Sero,
Thanks for raising this I also have the same question, how wise it is now to block money in LBP for 5 years and the current  economic situation is so bad ?
I am not sure if it is even better to put your money in  USD and get lower interest and stay safe ?
Or may be block them in LBP/Monthly  and Monitor to have a little  higher rate and a  small chance to convert  them to USD in case of any economy collapse.
Let see what other member think it s best to do at the moment ?

15% yearly (on 5 years CDs) return is extremely high and to make a decision you have to put it under the umbrella of high-risk/high reward. To be sure I am not understating: this interest is soo good that if you have 80k only you can make the monthly average salary of 1k/month in Lebanon. Being an investment/finance fan, this is a very high return and there is no other legal way to make this sum in a small capital.

samer wrote:

I've been thinking about this and it's hard for me to completely grasp the situation. I hope other members that have deeper knowledge about economics will step in to enlighten us.

Here's what I see:

- Sharp rise of interest rates as discussed in this topic
- Lebanese gov bonds trading at a discount (95 cents on the dollar for short-medium term), which hints that the market thinks the government will default on its debt obligations
- Nominal debt at 152% of GDP.  Third-highest in the world.
- No government formation in sight means no budget for 2019 and unclear handling of outstanding debt
- Every business-owner I know complaining that "business is slow"
- Housing loans on hold, real-estate dip

No one on earth can know how close we are to an economic collapse, this is like my old neighbor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and had 6 months to live, this was 15 years ago and he is still living his normal life without undergoing any treatment. The doctors who predicted his death are as highly experienced as the economists who are predicting the collapse since years ago. The conclusion: No one ever knows the maximum stress any system can take (financial or biological or...), this is not science this is merely the statistical model being put into reasoning, this is why those kind of predictions are never accurate. I can tell that only people in high power know about any coming collapse but only before a short period of time and to prove it to you: if you track down major economic breakdowns in any economy/stock in the world in the last 50 years you can see that billionaires have lost big money to this. Those people hire professionals to do their study but when the big wave comes everyone goes down.

Everyone has to make his own decision, hooray for the people with no cash for the piece of mind they have now. But for the people having cash in Lebanon, I am not sure of the alternatives they have, not everyone considers it convenient to put their money in a bank outside the country. Buy small apartments, rent them and keep some money aside for emergencies. Any ideas guys?

Offline

#52 October 12 2018

samer
Administrator

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Thank you for your input Guitaret. I highly appreciate the contribution.

No one ever knows the maximum stress any system can take (financial or biological or...), this is not science this is merely the statistical model being put into reasoning, this is why those kind of predictions are never accurate

Fully agreed. I think this statement is key, and I wonder whether one's portfolio should be structured with this statement in mind. Make sure that if (or when) the banks go under, you're not bankrupt.

Offline

#53 October 30 2018

sero
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Update

A bank which previously offered 15% for 30k LBP over 5 years, just called to inform me that they increased the rate to 16%!
and 11.5% over 1 year.

I'm going to wait till beginning 2019 to see how things goes.

Offline

#54 October 30 2018

AVOlio
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

sero wrote:

Update

A bank which previously offered 15% for 30k LBP over 5 years, just called to inform me that they increased the rate to 16%!
and 11.5% over 1 year.

I'm going to wait till beginning 2019 to see how things goes.

Why the specific amount of 30k LBP.
I don't understand.
What if less than 30k or more than 30k?

Offline

#55 October 30 2018

sero
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

AVOlio wrote:

Why the specific amount of 30k LBP.
I don't understand.
What if less than 30k or more than 30k?

30k LBP is the minimum amount to benefit from the interest rate (most banks set it to 30k, it surely can be more, but not less)

Offline

#56 October 30 2018

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

sero wrote:

A bank which previously offered 15% for 30k LBP over 5 years, just called to inform me that they increased the rate to 16%!
and 11.5% over 1 year.
.

Bank Audi gave me the same offer but the weird part is that the money needed to be converted from USD to LBP in order to be qualified for this plan.

Offline

#57 October 30 2018

sero
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Guitaret wrote:

Bank Audi gave me the same offer but the weird part is that the money needed to be converted from USD to LBP in order to be qualified for this plan.
.

Yes, this is exactly what SGBL informed me also (USD to LBP)
Economically, what does this mean?

Offline

#58 October 30 2018

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

sero wrote:
Guitaret wrote:

Bank Audi gave me the same offer but the weird part is that the money needed to be converted from USD to LBP in order to be qualified for this plan.
.

Yes, this is exactly what SGBL informed me also (USD to LBP)
Economically, what does this mean?

They want to get people to buy LBP instead of choosing the other safe options of USD. They think they can convince people to sell their USD => more USD in the market/banks/central bank (frozen) => Central bank has more foreign currencies => LBP is safer.
If all people panic & start buying USD (or other stocks, or transfer money outside) the LBP will collapse for sure.

But I did not get what I need to do to get the deal, should I make a transfer of 20k $ so they can do the exchange themselves?

Offline

#59 June 11

joe2k17
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Hello Community,

Any idea what are the current bank  interest on LBP and USD and which Banks are giving the best interests at the moment ?  are they still giving 15% and 16% like before for converting USD to LBP?

BR//

Offline

#60 June 11

Mhdskr
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

joe2k17 wrote:

Hello Community,

Any idea what are the current bank  interest on LBP and USD and which Banks are giving the best interests at the moment ?  are they still giving 15% and 16% like before for converting USD to LBP?

BR//

Definitely not 15-16% anymore. The current rate is 6-6.5 on USD for monthly. around 8.5% for yearly. As for LBP it's about 2 points higher. That's for amounts <100,000$. Avoid Audi, they have the lowest rates (like half these numbers) and they don't care. All other banks will try to match competing offers if they see you did you due diligence.

Last edited by Mhdskr (June 11)

Offline

#61 June 11

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

joe2k17 wrote:

Hello Community,

Any idea what are the current bank  interest on LBP and USD and which Banks are giving the best interests at the moment ?  are they still giving 15% and 16% like before for converting USD to LBP?

BR//

2 Months ago I went to SGBL and they said they are giving now 12.5% (for the 5 years term). I had tiny regrets about missing the 15% chance. But I don't know about the ones that got 15%, are the banks still paying that or not?

Offline

#62 June 11

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Another point/question worth mentioning:

Some people said that they got affected in their house loans (negatively). A friend told me he is now paying extra 250$/month on a house loan he took 4 years ago. Did this happen with any of you guys?

Offline

#63 June 11

Mhdskr
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Guitaret wrote:

Another point/question worth mentioning:

Some people said that they got affected in their house loans (negatively). A friend told me he is now paying extra 250$/month on a house loan he took 4 years ago. Did this happen with any of you guys?

I have iskan loan and none of that happened. Your friend must have a private bank loan or something.

Offline

#64 June 11

sero
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

I have a BDL subsidized housing loan since ~3 years and my monthly payment is still the same.
A couple of people i know had their monthly payment increased (iskan and BDL).

The loan's interest rate depends on the Lebanese Treasury Bills (LTB) rate. LTB rate got higher this year hence payment increased, you can check the value here: http://www.bdl.gov.lb/statistics/table.php?name=t5271-3

Depending on when you took the loan, your interest rate will get higher, its just a matter of time.

Offline

#65 June 12

Kareem
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

sero wrote:

I have a BDL subsidized housing loan since ~3 years and my monthly payment is still the same.
A couple of people i know had their monthly payment increased (iskan and BDL).

The loan's interest rate depends on the Lebanese Treasury Bills (LTB) rate. LTB rate got higher this year hence payment increased, you can check the value here: http://www.bdl.gov.lb/statistics/table.php?name=t5271-3

Depending on when you took the loan, your interest rate will get higher, its just a matter of time.


Exactly.  My bank called me few weeks ago. I have to pay extra $350 per month ( loan above $450k ).

The thing is, it doesn't matter when you took the loan, if it's a BDL subsidized, they will contact you soon. It just depends on the month you took it.

Every year, they recalculate ( not sure about the financial term for this ) the interest rates and charges. During the last 25 years, rates were going down on a yearly basis.

It's probably the first time that housing loan interest rates go up.

Guitaret wrote:
joe2k17 wrote:

Hello Community,

Any idea what are the current bank  interest on LBP and USD and which Banks are giving the best interests at the moment ?  are they still giving 15% and 16% like before for converting USD to LBP?

BR//

2 Months ago I went to SGBL and they said they are giving now 12.5% (for the 5 years term). I had tiny regrets about missing the 15% chance. But I don't know about the ones that got 15%, are the banks still paying that or not?


I know a bank that offered  %17.5 interest rates  on LBP for amounts > 500 m LBP.  Since late January, no bank is allowed to offer more than 12% on LBP and 8% on USD ( according to my bank and to the rules set by BDL )

Last edited by Kareem (June 12)

Offline

#66 June 12

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Drifting a bit off-topic but I need an advice from people who took a house loan.
I bought a property recently and I am almost there in completing its price in full (90%) but I did not take a loan from the bank yet: I paid all the cash I have & I am paying the remaining on monthly installments.

The thing is that I am currently cashless and as you know the house needs soo much work & money for it to be called home (refurb work, furniture, curtains, carpets, custom work, smart appliances, outside garden work, heating & cooling...). This is not a small sum.

My question: Since it is not mine completely yet, I still have a chance to take Iskan (when it is offered again). This is a 30 years loan (not to be taken lightly I know) but since it is a low interest one, I am able to finish the house to my liking and still have ~100k for an investment of my choice after that.
Friends are telling me that paying ~1k USD every month forever (or 30 years) will break my back as it did to theirs. They advised to only take a personal loan to cover the basics of the house and henceforward I can work it up in what remains from my salary each month. What I only like about this idea is the fact that the house will not be mortgaged and so I can sell it easier if I ever needed to, but I dislike the fact that the loan is of a very high interest (yes personal loans are crazy now: ~20%) and I won't be able to do the house properly: hire an architect, terrace, jacuzzi, security system, and all that jazz.

Please advise.

Offline

#67 June 12

sero
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

With Iskan you benefit from 2 things
1- free registration of the property (normally its 6% of the property's price)
2- low interest rate (compared to a personal loan)

Downside:
1- You pay a monthly installment for 30 years (~1k USD) .
Your friends are saying this is breaking their back. But what's the alternative? Rent an apartment forever?

In your shoes i would keep the cash and take an Iskan loan.
Cash is more powerful than property (land/apartment/store) these days (that's why interest rate on cash is high), especially in Lebanon.

But also keep in mind that Iskan is not available now and i don't think it will be any time in the near future

Last edited by sero (June 12)

Offline

#68 June 12

Kareem
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Guitaret wrote:

Drifting a bit off-topic but I need an advice from people who took a house loan.
I bought a property recently and I am almost there in completing its price in full (90%) but I did not take a loan from the bank yet: I paid all the cash I have & I am paying the remaining on monthly installments.

The thing is that I am currently cashless and as you know the house needs soo much work & money for it to be called home (refurb work, furniture, curtains, carpets, custom work, smart appliances, outside garden work, heating & cooling...). This is not a small sum.

My question: Since it is not mine completely yet, I still have a chance to take Iskan (when it is offered again). This is a 30 years loan (not to be taken lightly I know) but since it is a low interest one, I am able to finish the house to my liking and still have ~100k for an investment of my choice after that.
Friends are telling me that paying ~1k USD every month forever (or 30 years) will break my back as it did to theirs. They advised to only take a personal loan to cover the basics of the house and henceforward I can work it up in what remains from my salary each month. What I only like about this idea is the fact that the house will not be mortgaged and so I can sell it easier if I ever needed to, but I dislike the fact that the loan is of a very high interest (yes personal loans are crazy now: ~20%) and I won't be able to do the house properly: hire an architect, terrace, jacuzzi, security system, and all that jazz.

Please advise.


If I understand your question correctly, you do not get the cash.  It's the seller that takes the cash from the bank " وعد بالدفع ".

So I am not sure if you trust him enough but basically what you're telling him is to collect the remaining %10 from the housing loan and give it to you so you can pay him the remainder on a monthly basis.

Offline

#69 June 13

Guitaret
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Kareem wrote:

If I understand your question correctly, you do not get the cash.  It's the seller that takes the cash from the bank " وعد بالدفع ".

So I am not sure if you trust him enough but basically what you're telling him is to collect the remaining %10 from the housing loan and give it to you so you can pay him the remainder on a monthly basis.

This is covered, no worries about that:
The seller gets the cash and gives them back to me or at least the remaining (not so uncommon). Many people do that so they can finish up the house. And the amount I can take is whatever is allowed to me, not just the 10% and so this my question here. Lets say I am allowed 150k, knowing what it means to pay some hefty monthly amount for a long period of time Kareem, would you do it ? or stay cashless but without a loan and finish up the house each month (even if it took years)?

@sero I appreciate your feedback.

Offline

#70 June 13

Kareem
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

Guitaret wrote:
Kareem wrote:

If I understand your question correctly, you do not get the cash.  It's the seller that takes the cash from the bank " وعد بالدفع ".

So I am not sure if you trust him enough but basically what you're telling him is to collect the remaining %10 from the housing loan and give it to you so you can pay him the remainder on a monthly basis.

This is covered, no worries about that:
The seller gets the cash and gives them back to me or at least the remaining (not so uncommon). Many people do that so they can finish up the house. And the amount I can take is whatever is allowed to me, not just the 10% and so this my question here. Lets say I am allowed 150k, knowing what it means to pay some hefty monthly amount for a long period of time Kareem, would you do it ? or stay cashless but without a loan and finish up the house each month (even if it took years)?

@sero I appreciate your feedback.

I can't really advise you as I know nothing about your plans. Loans are risky. Interest rate is fluctuating and you may end up paying much more than you thought.

$150K means around $1100 -- $1200 USD per month up to 30 years. It includes the insurance fees which means around $400K.

If I were you, I wouldn't go for it. You never know what might happen in the future. Selling the property is very complicated when it's mortgaged. You won't be eligible for another loan ( car, personal etc.. ) if your income doesn't allow it.

You have 10 years to pay for the property registration so plenty of time but again, I don't know how old you are, when you're planning to move, and your future plans.

If you really have to go for a housing loan, make the duration as short as possible ( 7 years is probably OK). So it's not really the amount but the duration.

Offline

#71 June 13

Joe
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

@Guitaret:

Cashless is not a good option

A basic idea in the economy is that 100$ today is worth (almost always) more than 100$ in one year. It's called inflation. The earlier you get access to the money, the more value this money has. It is tempting to try to go your whole life without taking a loan, but mathematically speaking, you'd be missing out on good opportunities.

It depends on interest rates

You already mentioned it, interest rates are really high right now. It costs a lot to borrow money. Right now is not a good time to take a loan. Be on the lookout for signs that the interest rates are coming down.

It depends on other things as well

Your salary, your family situation, your lifestyle expenses, ... plenty of things to consider before getting a loan. But usually, bankers have a good way of helping you figure this out.

Last edited by Joe (June 13)

Offline

#72 June 17

MAS
Member

Re: Bank savings account interest rates

@Guitaret:

Taking a loan right now is not the best option.
Since you are taking the loan to furnish the house, why not ask check for payment facilities within the stores, some places offer 0% interest up to certain period, and with the current market status most of the places will do their best to sell anything.

Offline

Board footer