News Column

Lebanon Central Bank hosts conference on regional economy with participation of IMF

June 18, 2014

NNA - Lebanon'sCentral Bank on Wednesday hosted, with the participation of the International Monetary Fund, a conference on the perspectives of the economy of the MENA region in 2014.

In a word delivered on the occasion, the bank's governor Riad Salameh indicated that the 2008 world financial crisis did not take a toll on Lebanon owing to the banking model the Central Bank adopted, whereby it managed to attract capitals and to lower interests' rates.

"Ever since, the Central Bank managed to preserve these rates despite the difficulties that emerged with the advent of the Arab Spring and the start of the war in Syria," he said.

He went on to say that Lebanon had even score encouraging growth rates, unlike a number of Arab countries.

He also confirmed that the overall reserve in foreign currency had surpassed 35 billion a year, "which allowed maintaining the stability of the national monetary and the interests' rates."

But Salameh warned of looming challenges with the massive influx of more than one million Syrian refugees into the country, whose direct cost has amounted to USD 2.6 billion between 2012 and 2014.

He also warned of social tribulations relevant to the salary scale adjustment that should be accompanied by reforms, highlighting the necessity to restructure the public finance in Lebanon.


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Source: National News Agency (Lebanon)

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