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A tourist enjoys a view of Petra's most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (the Treasury), from the mountain above. On Thursday, February 8, 2019, in Petra, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan.

Gaza conflict puts pressure on neighbours’ economies

A prolonged conflict in Gaza and Israel is likely to lead to a significant contraction in GDP and loss of foreign exchange receipts across Middle East and North Africa, according to S&P Global Ratings. The month-long conflict leaves the tourism sectors of Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan “most exposed” due to their geographical proximity to the […]

Person, Human, Pipeline

Lebanon wants Total-led consortium to drill new well

Lebanon wants a consortium led by TotalEnergies to drill another well at offshore Block 9 quickly, after a first well did not find enough natural gas to be commercialised, the country’s energy minister, Walid Fayad, told Reuters. The consortium drilling in Block 9 also includes the Italian energy group Eni and the state-owned QatarEnergy. Fayad, […]

Lebanon lollar fees commission

Lebanon’s new bank rules offer ‘lollar’ accounts respite

The Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, has issued a circular limiting fees and commissions that commercial banks can impose on so-called “lollar” accounts. Circular No. 679 prohibits the imposition of commissions that were established after October 31, 2019 on dollar deposits made before September 3, 2019. It also obliges banks to publish their […]

QatarEnergy coalition bids in Lebanon licensing round

A coalition of TotalEnergies, Eni and QatarEnergy applied for the second licensing round to bid on oil and gas blocks 8 and 10 in Lebanese waters, an hour before the deadline on Monday, Lebanon’s energy ministry said. Last month the consortium began drilling an exploratory well in Lebanon’s block 9, one of the blocks falling […]

As part of a $3bn financial support agreement, the IMF urged Egypt to level the playing field between the private and public sectors

Lebanon needs deep reforms on unstable outlook says IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed new policies enacted by Lebanon’s central bank, but said deep reforms were still necessary as the crisis-stricken country’s “outlook remains difficult and unstable”. Lebanon’s nearly four-year economic meltdown has cost the local currency roughly 98 percent of its value and impoverished thousands, but authorities have been slow to […]

A man counts Lebanese pound banknotes at an exchange shop in Beirut

Lebanon passes 2024 budget but debate rages on taxes and ‘dollarisation’

Lebanon’s caretaker cabinet passed a draft budget for 2024 on Tuesday with a focus on raising tax revenue and a move towards collecting fees and taxes in dollars. It was the first time since 2002 that a budget was approved within the constitutionally delineated time period of 31 October, which caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati […]

A currency exchange in Sidon, Lebanon. The country is replacing its old currency exchange platform with a new one run through Bloomberg

Lebanon to ditch Sayrafa currency exchange platform

Lebanon’s cabinet has approved the replacement of the controversial Sayrafa currency exchange platform with a new one run through the Bloomberg trading system.  Caretaker Information Minister Ziad Makari gave no indication of a time frame for the replacement when he spoke to reporters this week, saying only that the new platform would come into effect […]

Lebanese economic activity relies a lot on tourism

Economic activity in Lebanon remains sluggish

Lebanon’s economic activity appears to have contracted in August following a summer business lull according to a purchasing managers’ index published on Tuesday.  The PMI is a monthly report based on survey responses from businesses regarding five subdivided performance indicators including new orders, output and employment. The report, compiled by BLOMInvest Bank and the ratings […]

Dubai Holding Azadea Group

Dubai Holding weighs sale of 25% stake in retail franchisee

Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is weighing the sale of its minority stake in Azadea Group, which operates Inditex franchises in the Middle East including Zara, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Dubai Holding has selected JPMorgan and Rothschild & Co to advise […]

Lebanon’s central bank refuses to cover state deficit  

Lebanon’s central bank will not print money to lend the state or cover the crisis-hit economy’s projected deficit, acting central bank governor Wassim Mansouri said on Friday, calling on leaders to undertake urgent financial reforms. Mansouri told a press conference at the central bank the draft budget for 2023 included a state deficit of 24 […]

Lebanon seismic offshore

Lebanon to conduct seismic studies on offshore block 8

Lebanon has granted a licence to a consortium of international companies to conduct seismic studies on its offshore oil and gas block 8, caretaker energy minister Walid Fayad said. “Today is a historic day in a journey that started in 2010,” the state-owned National News Agency cited the minister as saying. “There are major hopes […]

Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister Walid Fayad meeting TotalEnergies executives in Beirut Video length: 00:56

Drilling to begin on Lebanon’s block 9

Exploratory drilling in Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas block 9 will commence on Thursday of this week, caretaker energy minister Walid Fayad has said. “On August 24 the drilling process will begin, and it will be a historic day,” the state-owned National News Agency reported, citing the minister. “After 67 days, we will know the […]

Lebanon reports $660m in loans from Gulf states

Lebanon’s central bank said its liquid foreign assets stood at $8.57 billion as it disclosed the numbers for the first time in a push for greater transparency after the departure of its long-time governor Riad Salameh. The central bank did not provide comparison figures from earlier periods, but at the start of the financial crisis […]

Lebanon’s caretaker PM says economic stability at stake  

Lebanon’s failure to approve a string of crucial economic laws to pull the country back on to its feet threatens the country’s future economic stability, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said. A financial meltdown that started in 2019 has weakened the currency by more than 90 percent, paralysed the financial system and frozen depositors out […]

Lebanon central bank governor

Lebanon freezes ex-central bank governor’s account

Lebanon has frozen the bank accounts of former central bank governor Riad Salameh and four of his associates, a statement by the special investigation commission has revealed. Lebanon has also lifted banking secrecy on the accounts of all five individuals, which include Salameh, his brother Raja, his son Nady, his former assistant Marianne Hoayek and […]

Lebanon central bank governor

Lebanon central bank chief denies alleged fund fraud

Lebanon’s longtime central bank governor Riad Salameh defended his record on Wednesday in a televised interview just days before he is set to leave office, denying he embezzled public funds and saying his policies benefited the economy. Salameh, whose 30-year tenure as governor has been stained by a deepening financial crisis and charges at home […]

Lebanon forex rate

Lebanon proposes floating forex rate by September

The vice governors of Lebanon’s central bank have proposed lifting the longtime peg on the country’s local currency and moving to a managed float by the end of September. The details were outlined in a copy of their proposal seen by Reuters on Thursday. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 98 percent of its […]

Lebanon lollar fees commission

Lebanon to phase out Sayrafa exchange platform

Lebanon’s central bank will decommission the controversial exchange platform known as Sayrafa after governor Riad Salameh’s 30-year tenure ends this month, one of the institution’s vice governors told Reuters on Monday. Salim Chahine said the bank’s leadership was talking with government and parliament policymakers, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), about the need […]

Lebanon energy crisis: Samira Hanna uses candles to light her kitchen during a power cut in Beirut

Lebanon’s energy dilemma: power cuts and costly solar

In a car park in West Beirut, a fuel tanker pumps 4,000 litres of diesel into barrels that will keep Bassem Jabir’s four illegal energy generators humming for another few days. Linked to local houses by dozens of thick cables strung across pavements and dangling from street lamps, generators like these have become the primary […]

Lebanon rules out extension of central bank governor’s term

Lebanon’s caretaker premier, Najib Mikati, will not extend the term of central bank governor Riad Salameh when it ends later this month, the prime minister’s office said. The July 31 expiration of Salameh’s term will bring to an end a 30-year tenure stained by recent charges at home and abroad of embezzlement of Lebanese public […]

A shopper walks past near-empty shelves at a supermarket in Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon’s economic crisis deepening, says IMF

Lebanon’s financial crisis has been aggravated by vested interests resisting crucial reforms, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday, warning that no action could lead the country “down an unpredictable road.” The four-year economic meltdown has cost the local currency 98 percent of its value, seen GDP contract by 40 percent, pushed inflation into triple […]

Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn: $1bn Nissan lawsuit ‘not a gimmick’

Carlos Ghosn’s $1.09 billion lawsuit against his former employer Nissan, filed on Monday in Lebanon, is “not a gimmick” and the former car boss had considered claiming for an even higher amount, his legal team in Beirut told AGBI. The lawsuit, which AGBI has seen, levies 10 criminal offences against 12 individuals and two firms […]