Foreign currency corporate loans to be repaid as contract, not lira


The Central Bank (BDL) has exempted retail and housing loans denominated in foreign currencies from being repaid according to borrowing terms. They are allowed to be repaid in lira based on the official exchange rate (LL1,507). Retail loans include personal, car, credit card, education, and similar loans based on an individual’s credit file. All other

Poverty hits half the population


The poverty rate is expected to have surged to 55 percent in May 2020 (equivalent to 2.7 million people) from 28 percent in 2019 according to ‘Poverty in Lebanon’, a recent policy brief published by ESCWA, a UN organization. The rate of those in extreme poverty increased to 23 percent (1.1 million people) from eight

First talks on Lebanon’s rescue plan ‘productive’: IMF


Initial talks between the International Monetary Fund and Lebanon’s government on its financial rescue plan have been “productive,” the IMF’s managing director said Monday. “I had a productive call with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab today to discuss the government’s recovery plan, which is an important step forward to address Lebanon’s economic challenges,” Kristalina Georgieva

Central Bank mandates dollar conversion at LL3,200


The Central Bank (BDL) has issued a circular requiring all money changers not to exceed the exchange rate of LL3,200 to the dollar. By Monday noon,foreign exchange counters did not start implementing the new circular with the dollar price reaching a high of LL4,000. Meanwhile, BDL’s special unit for foreign exchange set the dollar rate

Insurance firms to hike pound rates to current market levels


Lebanon’s insurance companies will change most of their insurance policies to the current pound price rates in the parallel market as the sector reels under the severe economic conditions, the president of the insurance association Elie Torbey said Friday. “We have no other choice but to charge our clients in dollars or in Lebanese pound

BDL asks banks to provide new credit lines


The Central Bank Wednesday asked all commercial banks to extend new credit lines for companies and firms that were unable to pay their dues for the months of March, April, May and June 2020. BDL circular said that the new lines of credits will be offered in Lebanese pounds or dollars and for a period

All insurance firms will cover coronavirus patients


All the insurance companies in the country will fully cover policyholders that are being treated for coronavirus infection, said Elie Torbey Chairman of the Association of Insurance Companies (ACAL). All insured will be covered whether the COVID-19 coronavirus is included in the insurance policy or not, Torbey said. Insurance companies will settle the covered medical

IMF assistance is a must says government reform plan

A draft of a government reform program being circulated for discussion has placed the emphasis of obtaining external financial assistance to the tune of $10 billion to $15 billion. According to the draft plan, without such multilateral institution support, the economy would fall short of the main objective of getting a fresh start. “No reform

Wholesale pricing scheme set for agricultural products


The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has published the first weekly wholesale price list for vegetables, fruits, and meat. The price list will apply in all wholesale markets. It will be updated each Wednesday and when needed. The aim is to protect consumers from monopolistic practices. Profit margin for retailers ranges from 20 to 30 percent,

Lebanon Wants Debt Halved, Seeks Billions in First Peek at Plans


Defaulted Lebanon gave the first glimpse of its restructuring plans by setting a goal of halving one of the world’s biggest debt burdens as early as this year and moving to a more flexible exchange rate, according to a draft document seen by Bloomberg. The government is discussing a reform plan submitted by the Finance

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