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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
Nip'n'tuck loans offer in Lebanon
FNB poster
The loans have been advertised on posters, TV and online
A Lebanese bank is giving out loans for cosmetic procedures in this notoriously image-conscious Mediterranean country.

First National Bank's website dubs the "plastic surgery loans" as a way to "have the life you've always wanted".

Customers can borrow $1,000-$5,000 (500-2,500) for surgery for two years, as long as they are employed and under 64 years of age.

"Statistical studies showed that there is a huge increase in this sphere," marketing manager George Nasr said.

"This opens horizons," he said in an interview with Reuters news agency.

People are not going out anymore so they are staying home looking in the mirror
Plastic surgeon Nabih Sader

The bank says it has received more than 200 calls a day about the loan since it was launched with a TV and poster campaign last week.

"We like to look our best... There are people who see this loan as their life raft," Mr Nasr said.

Local media say the tense political climate and fears of another devastating war with Israel have not curbed Lebanon's infamous urge for cosmetic enhancement, with demand increasing up to 20% since 2006.

"People are not going out anymore so they are staying home looking in the mirror," industry representative Dr Nabih Sader told the Daily Star newspaper.

The most popular procedures are nose jobs - which cost a fraction of what most people pay in Europe or the US - followed by liposuction and botox.

There is usually a sharp increase in breast augmentation surgery in the spring, as women prepare for the summer season spent on Lebanon's beaches.




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