Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor denies capital outflow
Riad Salameh, Governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank denied on Saturday, August 18, that a severe outflow of capital from the country has been taking place due to recent political unrest.
The Lebanese army arrested, in the beginning of the month, 200 anti-Syrian Christian militants opposed to Syria’s military presence. The crackdown, which did not receive the approval of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, lead to political upheaval within the country.
According to AFP news agency, the event dragged the Lebanese pound lower, and a major flight of capital has since taken place. The high demand for US dollars forced the central bank last week to sell $350 million in order to sustain the value of the pound.
Although Salameh denied the claims, bankers reported some $250 million of capital leaving the country at the end of the last week. On the contrary, Salameh stated that in the past year there has been an increase of more than 10 percent in deposits, according to the weekly figures published by the central bank. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)