Central Bank Governor: Total Assets in Lebanon Exceeded $43 Billion

Central Bank Governor: Total Assets in Lebanon Exceeded $43 Billion

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018 - 11:45
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh attend an economy conference in Beirut. (Dalati & Nohra)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanese Central Bank Riad Salameh announced on Monday that dollar reserves climbed by $1.4 billion in the first two months of the year and its total assets in dollars exceeded $43 billion.

This marks a recovery from a decline at the end of last year, he added during an economic conference organized by Lebanese business magazine Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal in cooperation with Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s office.

He earlier told Reuters the general reserve of the Central Bank and its assets in foreign currencies had increased by $1.5 billion in the first two months.

Salameh also told Reuters that November’s increase in local currency interest rates of around 2 percentage points had been enough to iron out market imbalances, “therefore we have an outlook of stable interest rates”.

“With the rise of interest rates and the return of political issues to normal, the dollar reserves at the central bank rose by around $1.4 billion by the end of February since the end of 2017,” he told the conference.

Tuesday’s conference was a roadshow for Lebanon’s government before an international donor and investor conference in Paris in April seeking support for infrastructure development.

Hariri was also present at the conference, where he said that the success of the April meeting will focus primarily on the international community’s serious intention to stand by Lebanon and support its economy.

He hoped that the private sector will play a prominent role in the Paris meeting, stressing that Lebanon must undertake needed reform to encourage the sector and establish capabilities that would enable the state to stop the squandering of public funds and combat corruption.

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