Torbey also gave some details on the success of the Lebanese banking industry in 2002. ‘The consolidated balance sheet of commercial banks in Lebanon reached $52,400 million at the end of 2002, which means our banking industry is as big as the UAE’s or Kuwait’s,’ he said. Bank deposits rose 6.3 per cent to $43,000 million. In December, Lebanon’s commercial banks agreed to assist the government in reducing its enormous debt by subscribing to $4,000 million in interest-free government bonds, cutting debt servicing costs by about $400 million (MEED 12:12:02).