By Imad Jomaa

Sooner than 1975, the Lebanese economic system was once the most dynamic within the heart East. This, even if, got here to an finish with the start of the Civil warfare (1975-1990), which exacted a heavy toll in either human and fabric phrases, and led to basic alterations within the financial system. After the 15-year-long clash, Lebanon confronted ambitious monetary demanding situations within the context of critical monetary imbalances and a very tough exterior atmosphere. the govt. deficit and genuine rates of interest were tremendous excessive; the general public debt ratio has risen sharply to unsustainable degrees, and actual GDP development has slowed. Given the debt rate and debt point dynamics that had transpired, the debt administration features of the govt. took longer than anticipated to advance to appropriate criteria. meanwhile, spending past the on hand ability endured unabated. ''Public Debt administration for Lebanon: scenario research and technique for Change'' questions the sustainability of Lebanon's public debt and asks a few hugely very important questions. Is Lebanon at the correct course of sound debt administration method or is a concern finally inevitable? what's the most efficient debt administration procedure? what's the relation of the debt carrier to debt, and at what cost does it raise the debt point? who's benefitting from the excessive charges at the debt provider? And, most significantly of all, how can the general public debt be lowered?

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The increasing exposure of banks to Treasury and BDL keeps little funds for loans to customers. Table 13 shows the percentage of banks’ lending to Treasury and BDL versus their lending to customers. 71 percent in 2004. 29 percent in 2004. 71 percent to customers in 2004 is due to exceptionally high yields on Treasury bills. Chart 18 (p. 54) compares the average yield on Treasury bills to the 1-year LIBOR. Notice the huge spread between the two interest rates. 94 percent in 1995 taking into consideration that the yield on Treasury bills is an average of the yields of all Treasury bill maturities.

Both the primary and secondary markets for Treasury bills reported dull performances with very low participation from non-banks, coupled with an important intervention by the Central Bank to purchase paper on the primary market. The portfolio held by the public dropped from LBP 6,699 billion at the end of 2000 to LBP 6,133 billion at the end of 2001. The banks’ portfolio contracted from LBP 17,983 billion at the end of 2000 to LBP 14,914 at the end of 2001. In order to bridge the gap between subscriptions and maturities, the Central Bank’s portfolio of Treasury bills rose from LBP 1,598 billion at the beginning of the year to LBP 6,134 billion.

This issue became the most liquid among traded Eurobonds on the secondary market. Another USD 500 million was launched in June of the same year, but was fully subscribed to by BDL. The government had also launched a USD 350 million Eurobond in May 2002 for contractors to settle arrears for previously executed works. Another USD 750 million Eurobond issue saw the light in August to rollover a maturing contractors’ [45] PUBLIC DEBT MANAGEMENT FOR LEBANON bond at an attractive issue spread of 775 basis points, which triggered some good demand for it.

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