Lebanon Projected to Issue $2 Billion in Eurobonds

Published April 16th, 2019 - 10:58 GMT
Lebanese banks are projected to be the biggest buyers.
Lebanese banks are projected to be the biggest buyers. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
With over $80 billion debt, Lebanon has the world's third highest debt-to-GDP ratio.

Lebanon’s Finance Ministry is expected to issue round $2 billion in Eurobonds in May or June, a ministry advisor has told Bloomberg.

“We’re waiting now for some good news coming out of budget that has austerity measures; we believe this will improve yields even further,” Talal F. Salman said Saturday in an interview with Bloomberg from Washington. “After that we’re planning to execute the deal.”

According to Salman, the debt’s maturity is expected to be 10 years or more. He added that so far, Lebanese banks are projected to be the biggest buyers.

“International buyers are waiting for good news before they commit to any transaction, and with the electricity plan they’re definitely more interested now,” Salman added.

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With over $80 billion debt, Lebanon has the world's third highest debt-to-GDP ratio.

The country's ailing electricity sector costs the state around $2 billion annually. However, last week, Cabinet endorsed a new plan to provide Lebanon with 24/7 electricity, which was last enjoyed before the 1975-90 Civil War.

The electricity blueprint is designed to restructure the dilapidated sector, boost power supply and reduce subsidies to the state-run Electricite du Liban.

The next step is to pass the 2019 budget, which awaits approval from Cabinet and Parliament.

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