Purchase Treasury Bill (TB) subscriptions surged 162.2 percent at the January 4th auction as they hit a new year start of LP571.77 billion ($379.28 million) while total maturities rose by 169.5 percent to LP422.99 billion ($280.59m), resulting in a surplus of LP127.94 billion ($84.87 million).
The higher level of TB purchases may have been boosted by book closings for 2000 being out of the way, while there is some optimism surrounding the new government’s economic policy starting to pick up pace. Such an eventuality is believed by many as being a potential catalyst in restoring investors’ confidence in the local currency, with TBs expected to be one of the major beneficiaries.
A limited rebalancing of banks’ portfolios took place at the January 4th auction, with the share of the 24-M TB slipping to 50.36 percent from 56.39 percent the week before, while the weight of 12-M TBs fell to 19.85 percent from 25.35 percent. Short-term TBs saw their share of total subscriptions almost double to 20.7 percent from 10.36 percent previously. The Central Bank sold LP4 billion ($2.65 million) worth of certificates of deposit this week, LP3 billion ($1.99 million) of the 60-day maturity and LP1 billion ($663,350) in 182-day CDs. — ( Banque du Liban et d'Outre-Mer Sal )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )