Lebanon, for the first time, is to issue $300 million, 15-year treasury bonds, announced Finance Minister Fuad Siniora, on Tuesday, April 3. The issue will be managed by Credit Swiss First Boston.
“This is the first time that we have a 15-year issue which has many benefits, including investment confidence in Lebanon," Siniora said. The 15-year issue will be offered to "non-Lebanese investors abroad, a matter which also expresses confidence in all the steps currently undertaken by the Lebanese government toward restructuring the Lebanese economy."
The new foreign currency bonds are to replace existing debt in Lebanese pounds. They will be launched after the closing of a $600 million, five-year bond issue with a fixed 9.75 percent coupon that was announced last Friday. Most of the funds received from the five-year bonds will be used to make payments on April maturing bonds, and the remaining $100 million will be used to cover a Lebanese pound issue that has just matured.
Eighty percent of Lebanon’s public debt is carried by Lebanese banks. The figure is equivalent to $25 billion, or 147 percent of the country's GDP. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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