Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have committed over $500 million in a bid to support Lebanon's efforts to maintain the stability of its local pound against a rising demand for dollars, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh stated. Further contributions of badly needed hard currencies are expected to arrive shortly from China and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
The foreign currency injection is carried out through the purchase of Republic of Lebanon Eurobonds, a three-year investment bearing an annual interest rate of 10.25 percent. This move will bring up the total worth of eurobonds sold by the Lebanese government this year to one billion dollars.
Salameh also forecasted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will rise to three percent in 2002, up from last year’s two percent. Lebanon's public debt, which currently stands at a $27 billion, exceeded 165 percent of the nation’s GDP. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )