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Well drilling in Lebanon’s offshore block 9 to begin in Q3 2023

TotalEnergies is keen to start work on Lebanon’s offshore block 9 “as soon as possible”, with assessments to begin early next month and well-drilling to launch in the third quarter of 2023, its CEO Patrick Pouyanne said. Pouyanne was speaking at a joint news conference in Beirut after signing a three-way consortium deal with QatarEnergy […]

Lebanon sets new rate for withdrawals from dollar deposits

Lebanon’s central bank said on Thursday it had set a new rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar for withdrawals from bank deposits denominated in dollars, but which can now can be accessed largely in the local currency. The rate was previously set at 8,000 pounds under central bank Circular 151, which implied […]

Food security

$5.5m initiative for food security in Mediterranean countries

A new $5.5 million package of technical assistance to improve food security in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank and Gaza has been agreed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The joint initiative, which will be launched in January, is […]

Lebanon extends licensing round for eight offshore oil blocks

Lebanon has again extended the deadline for applications to explore for hydrocarbons in eight offshore blocks, the energy ministry said on Friday. The deadline had already been extended several times, most recently from June until December 15. Lebanon’s energy ministry said that caretaker minister Walid Fayyad had pushed it back again to June 30, 2023 […]

Lebanon jobs

Lebanon economy ‘on hold’ after fleeting summer resurgence

Lebanon’s private sector cut jobs in November as declining orders spurred companies to reduce spending amid prolonged political uncertainty, according to the latest purchasing manager’s index (PMI) report.  The BLOM Lebanon PMI slumped to a seven-month low of 48.1 last month, down from 49.1 in October. A reading above 50.0 shows improving business conditions, while […]

City, Urban, Street

Lebanon’s economy contracting at slower pace, says World Bank

Lebanon’s economy, hit by one of the world’s most severe crises, continues to contract although the pace of that contraction has somewhat slowed, the World Bank said in a report published Wednesday. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – a measure of the total value of a country’s economy – in the tiny Mediterranean nation is […]

Lebanon to unify exchange rates for US dollar from February 2023

Lebanon’s central bank will adopt an exchange rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds ($9.95) per US dollar as of February 1 as part of a process to unify the country’s multiple exchange-rate system, Lebanese central bank governor Riad Salameh said on Monday. The central bank’s official rate has been set at 1,507 pounds per US dollar […]

Person, Human, Clothing

Lebanon could still sign IMF deal despite executive vaccum

Lebanon could still finalise a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion bailout despite having no president and no fully-empowered government, caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati said on Thursday. Beirut signed a draft agreement with the IMF in April but has been slow to implement a series of reforms required by […]

Lebanon steps back from plan to slash official exchange rate

Lebanon has stepped back from plans to slash its 25-year-old official exchange rate with one closer to the market rate, ministerial and political sources said Thursday, amid fears of a backlash from the public. Caretaker finance minister Youssef Khalil told Reuters on September 28 the state would re-peg the dollar from 1,507 to 15,000 pounds […]

Person, Human, Money

Lebanon to halt purchase of US dollars on Sayrafa platform

Lebanon’s central bank will halt purchases of dollars on its Sayrafa platform starting on October 25 until further notice, a statement from the central bank said on Sunday. The statement said the bank would continue to sell exclusively dollars on its exchange rate platform. The move is intended to strengthen the Lebanese pound after it […]

Lebanon and Syria discuss sea border after Beirut’s Israel deal

The Lebanese and Syrian presidents discussed delineating their countries’ shared maritime border on Saturday before a visit to Damascus next week by a Lebanese delegation tasked with negotiating the issue, a Lebanese official said. A dispute over their shared sea boundary emerged last year after Syria granted a licence to a Russian energy company to […]

Window, Silhouette, Building

Lebanon passes new banking secrecy law after IMF concerns

Lebanon’s parliament on Thursday passed another round of amendments to a banking secrecy law after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said a previous draft retained key deficiencies. The IMF has laid out a list of reforms, including amending its banking secrecy law, that Lebanon must implement before it can gain access to $3 billion to […]

Tie, Accessories, Accessory

Lebanon president accepts maritime border deal with Israel

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, announced on Thursday his country’s acceptance of the US-brokered maritime border deal with Israel, saying talks had come to “a positive end.” Aoun said the deal represented an “historic achievement” in which Lebanon regained 860 square kilometres (km) of disputed maritime territory but insisted it did not pave the way to […]

Person, Human, Tower

UK firm launches fund to invest Lebanon’s ‘trapped dollars’

A British asset management firm has launched a fund that enables Lebanese bank customers to reinvest their trapped savings in local exporters, generating new dollars that will be repaid to investors and help ease the country’s yawning current account deficit. Several Lebanese citizens have taken up arms to withdraw their own savings from local banks […]

Lebanon and Israel clinch deal on gas dispute over maritime border

Lebanon and Israel have reached a historic agreement demarcating a disputed maritime border between them after years of US-mediated negotiations. While limited in scope, a finalised deal would mark a significant compromise between neighbours with a history of war and hostility, opening the way for offshore energy exploration and easing a source of recent tensions. […]

Lebanon bank crisis

Lebanon’s banking crisis can only be solved with political reforms

Lebanon’s banking sector is in ruins, with little progress made in reforming the ailing industry, whose collapse has helped plunge four-fifths of the country’s population into poverty and forced many citizens to take up arms to withdraw their own savings from banks. Having imposed unofficial capital controls following an unravelling of the Lebanese pound’s longstanding […]

Depositors storm four banks in Lebanon over withdrawal limits

Outraged bank clients, at least two of them armed, stormed four commercial banks across Lebanon on Tuesday over withdrawal limits that have been imposed throughout the country amid a financial meltdown. Cases of bank hold-ups have snowballed across Lebanon as residents have grown exasperated over the informal capital controls that banks have imposed since an […]

Hopes rise in Beirut of a deal to end border dispute with Israel

Lebanon appears to be nearing an agreement with Israel over their disputed maritime border, which could kick-start long-delayed oil and gas exploration.  A deal between the longstanding foes could provide some rare cheer in Lebanon, which is reeling from hyperinflation, the collapse of its banking sector and currency, and soaring unemployment. More than 80 percent […]

Unarmed Lebanese withdraws $12,000 from frozen bank

An unarmed Lebanese depositor managed to withdraw nearly $12,000 in cash from his own bank account, although most people’s savings are blocked, according to a depositors’ advocacy group. Lebanon’s three-year financial crisis has locked most depositors out of their savings as banks imposed informal capital controls. In recent weeks, a growing number of depositors have […]