Credit Libanais

Founded: 1961
Total Assets*: US$9.09 billion
Customer Deposits*: US$6.78 billion
Ranking by Assets*: 9

(*as of Dec 31, 2021, ABL Almanac 2022, converted at LL1507.5/US$)


Credit Libanais was founded in 1961 as a Lebanese joint stock company. The bank’s current Chairman-General Manager, Joseph Torbey, is a veteran of both the Lebanese financial and political scenes. His career in the banking sector includes serving as the Chairman of ABL (2001-2005; 2009-2013; 2015-2019). Meanwhile, in the public sector he served as the controller of the Lebanese Audit Court, financial controller at the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and head of the Income Tax Department at the Ministry of Finance in Lebanon (1970-1988).[1]

The European delegation currently investigating Banque du Liban (BDL) Governor Riad Salameh for money laundering and financial crimes has sought to question Torbey, among other Lebanese banking figures.[2] Torbey had previously appeared alongside Salameh at numerous public events. Indeed, he called for the renewal of Salameh’s term as Governor of BDL at the ABL’s 2017 General Assembly, at which he also voiced his support for former President Michel Aoun.[3]

Amongst Torbey’s fellow board members are other high-profile Lebanese public figures.[4] Most notably, these include Marwan Hamadeh, who served as a member of Parliament for the Progressive Socialist Party until his resignation following the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020. He previously served as minister of education and higher education (2016-2019), minister of economy and trade (2003-2004) and minister of displaced (2000-2003).

Other politically exposed persons (PEPs) on the Credit Libanais board of directors include former Minister of National Economy Samir Makdisi (1992), and Joe Issa El-Khoury who was elected vice president of the Maronite League in March 2022. That same month, the league’s executive council, including El Khoury, met with then-Lebanese President Aoun and both made public statements regaling their mutual support.[5]


The largest shareholder in Credit Libanais is CIH Bahrain International Holding, with 35.06% shares.[6] Abdullah Amar Rahouma al-Saudi represents the company on the bank’s board of directors.[7] He is also both a board member and chairman of CIH Bahrain International Holding. al-Saudi is well-known in regional banking circles, having, among other things, worked in the Central Bank of Libya for 14 years, established and led the Arab Libyan Foreign Bank, and established the Arab Financial Services company of Bahrain.[8]

Credit Libanais’ next largest shareholder is EFG Hermes CL Holding SAL with an 8.81% stake.[9] This is a Lebanese holding company for the Arab world’s largest publicly traded investment bank, EFG Hermes.[10] The Egyptian bank previously owned a 63.70% stake in Credit Libanais, which it sold in 2016.[11] EFG Hermes has been closely tied to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, under whose patronage the company’s annual conferences have been held in Dubai since 2019.[12]

The Lebanese Commerical Registry of 2021 also lists Dar Al Handasah for Technical investments Shaer & Associates Holding Ltd with 4.27% of shares in Credit Libanais.[13] This is a holding company for the massive Lebanese construction consortium of the same name that operates across the Middle East and Africa, with ties to political elites throughout, in particular Egypt and Angola.[14] [15]

Another Credit Libanais shareholder, Ramzi Ramez Klink, who has a 2.59% stake in the bank, is closely tied with Dar Al Handasah. The latter has a 40% stake in Klink’s own company Dar-Angola–Consultoria Ltd. For decades, Dar Angola has monopolized construction contracts with the Angolan state, with Klink known as a close associate of the former President of Angola, José Eduardo Dos Santos.[16]

[1] ‘Biography’, Joseph M Torbey, accessed 23 March 2023,

[2] “European investigative team in Lebanon starts probe into Riad Salameh” Al-Monitor (Online: January 17 2023), online at:

[3] ‘Press’, Joseph M Torbey, accessed 20 March 2023,—8-february-2017

[4] ‘Coporate Governance’, Credit Libanais, accessed 20 March 2023,

[5] ‘News Archive’, Presidency of the Republic of Lebanon, accessed 25 March 2023,

[6] Association des Banques du Liban, ‘Almanac of Banks in Lebanon 2022’ (Beirut: Association des Banques du Liban, 2022).

[7] ‘Coporate Governance’, Credit Libanais, accessed 20 March 2023,

[8] ’Abdullah Saudi’, United Bank for Commerce and Investment Libya, accessed 25 March 2023,

[9] Association des Banques du Liban, ‘Almanac of Banks in Lebanon 2022’.

[10] EFT Hermes CL Holding is listed on the official EFG Hermes websites as one of the bank’s ”affiliates”. ‘Affiliates‘, EFG Hermes, accessed 20 March 2023,

[11] ‘Torbey camp prevails in sale of Credit Libanais’, Business News Lebanon, (Online: 17 March 2016), online at:

[12] “EFG Hermes Investor Conference underway in Dubai“ Arab News (Online: 4 March 2019), online at:;

[13] Ministry of Justice, ‘Commercial Registry of Lebanon’, accessed 9 March 2023,

[14] “Dar al Handasah: The Dark Side of the Giant”, Democracy Centre for Transparency, accessed 20 March 2023,

[15] Dar, accessed 20 March 2023, online at:

[16] Klink was also a co-founder of the Eduardo Dos Santos Foundation (FESA). Maka Angola (Online: 6 August 2019), ’Joes Eduardo Dos Santos’ Maka Angola, accessed 20 March 2023, online at:

Correction: A previous version of this infographic portrayed incorrect photos of Joseph Issa Khoury and Michel Haddad. The photos have now been amended to portray the correct individuals.


All content provided in this report (the Report) is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or any other professional advice. The Alternative has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in the Report. However, due to the opacity of available sources of information, The Alternative has relied on the most up to date and self-reported figures from the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) and its member banks, when available. When ABL and banks data was not available, The Alternative relied on physical copies of Lebanon’s commercial registry, online databases and other credible sources. In addition, The Alternative contacted each of the bank’s communications departments for confirmation of data regarding the shareholding and management of said banks. Only Bank Audi and BLOM Bank provided relevant information, both of which have been included in their entirety. Amongst others, the sources of the Report include various commercial registries, official bank websites, online aggregators, databases dedicated to company registration, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Bilanbanques reports, and many others.   

The information provided in the Report is done “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Alternative shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The Alternative does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in the Report. Furthermore, The Alternative shall not be liable for any losses or damages from the display or use of this information. If anyone has information relating to the Report, The Alternative welcomes it. All information sent to The Alternative will undergo a thorough validation process, and the report will be updated accordingly. For any relevant information or inquiries, please contact [email protected].


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