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How Lebanese Default Would Play Out

in English/أعمال وأسواق مالية

For many bond investors it’s a matter of when, not if, Lebanon restructures its $87 billion of debt as it reels under a deepening financial crisis. Working out what the trigger would be or the extent of the fallout is another matter entirely. After repaying $1.5 billion Eurobonds that matured last month, the focus is…

Bank deposits drop despite interest rate hike

in English/أعمال وأسواق مالية

Interest rates have risen substantially due to tightening monetary conditions since the crisis surrounding the Prime Minister’s resignation in November 2017, according to the World Bank’s ‘Lebanon’s Economic Update October 2019’. The average interest rates on deposits in dollars and lira rose by 229 and 325 basis points (bps) respectively between November 2017 and July…

Should Lebanon bring back its gold from U.S.?

in English/أعمال وأسواق مالية

Should Lebanon bring back part of its gold reserves from the United States? Is there a possibility that a portion might be seized by the U.S. authorities if Lebanon defaults on the payment of its maturing Eurobonds to foreign investors? These questions were echoed by some economists, even as they argued it was in Lebanon’s…

A long-feared currency crisis has begun to bite in Lebanon

in English/إقتصاد عام

In the Loby of a Beirut bank, three customers stuff wads of $100 bills into plastic bags. Each note has its serial number recorded on a receipt, as local law requires. One man’s receipt was so long it trailed on the ground as he left the branch. Surreal as it seems, this scene would be…

Lebanese Peg That’s Held Up for Over Two Decades Is Under Siege

in English/أعمال وأسواق مالية

Lebanon’s slow-churning currency crunch is fast engulfing Bashar Boubess’s business. The miller pays for wheat imports in dollars but bakeries buy his flour in Lebanese pounds. For weeks now, the bank has refused to exchange those pound earnings back into the hard currency he needs to replenish supplies. His wheat stocks have dropped 30%. Boubess…

Public employee payments top $3B in first half

in English/إقتصاد عام

Payments to public-sector employees in Lebanon continued to rise in the first half of 2019, increasing the financial burden on the cash-strapped country. According to figures released by the Finance Ministry, payments to public-sector personnel totaled $3.28 billion in the first half of 2019, an increase of 2.9 percent from $3.19 billion in the first…

The Lebanese Hide a Billion Dollars Inside Their Homes

in English/إقتصاد عام

One concern is currently preoccupying the Lebanese. It is not politics or security, but the economic situation. It is threatening their daily living because their national currency is menaced. While Banque du Liban (BDL) maintains the local currency stability at LBP 1510 per USD, this figure is considered by some economists to be “illogical”. A…

Sanctions deal death blow to JTB

in English/إقتصاد عام

BEIRUT: After 56 years of banking services, Jammal Trust Bank finally closed the curtains on all its operations Thursday after the U.S. Treasury accused the small lender of financial links to Hezbollah, labeled by Washington as a terrorist organization. In a statement released Thursday, Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh said he agreed to sanctions-hit Jammal…

Lebanon’s gas stations threaten open strike next week

in English/إقتصاد عام

Fadi Abou Chakra, a member of Lebanon’s Syndicate of Gas Station Owners, warned on Thursday that gas stations will announce an open strike next week if the government fails to meet their demands, local media reported. “If the government does not meet our demands we will close all gas stations next week especially that the…

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