Lebanese Banker Takes Issue with IMF Report

Published October 27th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

A leading banker in Lebanon disputed on Friday a draft report by the International Monetary Fund released last month, which urged the Central Bank to stop supporting the Lebanese pound.  

Freddie Baz, chief strategist of Banque Audi, said “the IMF’s report is weak,” claiming that it failed to prove the position that “the advantages of changing the policy outweigh the disadvantages,” according to the Daily Star. 

Baz questioned “if one of the world’s biggest monetary organizations cannot provide such proof, who can?”  

According to the Beirut-based daily, the IMF report called on the monetary authorities to devalue the local currency because structural reforms and privatization were not enough to reduce the country’s public debt.  

Most bankers, however, have rejected this call, claiming that devaluation will deal a blow to the country. 

Lebanon is struggling to recover from decades of civil war and Israeli occupation, which left in its wake countless orphans, miinefields and ruined infrastructure – Albawaba.com


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