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Lebanon passes 2022 budget that falls short of IMF demands

Lebanon’s parliament passed its 2022 budget on Monday using an exchange rate for customs tax revenues that lies far below the market value of the Lebanese pound, falling short of economic reform measures that would pave the way for an IMF deal. An agreement with the lender of last resort is seen as a first […]

A closed Credit Libanais branch in Sidon, southern Lebanon,

Lebanon’s banks to reopen after wave of holdups

Lebanon’s banks will reopen on Monday, the country’s banking association said, after five days of closures that followed a wave of holdups by savers seeking access to their frozen funds. The association said in a statement on Sunday that the decision to reopen “was taken after consideration of the current difficult security conditions and the […]

Lebanese banker says capital control law ‘solution’ for holdups

A top Lebanese banker on Friday criticised politicians for failing to enact a capital control law, saying this was the way to avoid bank raids by savers demanding funds from frozen accounts and to stop banks’ “discretionary practices”. BLOM Bank Chairman Saad Azhari – whose bank has been one of several held up this month […]

Lebanese woman who stole own savings says she’s not the criminal

On the run from authorities after forcing a bank to release her family savings at gunpoint to treat her cancer-stricken sister, 28-year-old Lebanese interior designer Sali Hafiz insists she is not the criminal. “We are in the country of mafias. If you are not a wolf, the wolves will eat you,” she told Reuters, standing […]

IMF to send mission to Lebanon to discuss slow reform progress

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that a staff mission will visit Lebanon next week to discuss ways to “speed up” implementation of agreed reforms required for an IMF loan program amid deteriorating living conditions in the country. “We are looking to support Lebanon as strongly as we can. It’s a difficult situation,” […]

Depositors hold up two Lebanese banks to grab their own money

Two seemingly armed and desperate Lebanese depositors held up banks on Wednesday to force access to their own money, which has been blocked during a national financial meltdown. One woman with a gun and some associates briefly held hostages at a branch of BLOM Bank in the capital Beirut, before leaving with more than $13,000 […]

Lebanon-Israel maritime talks over oil allocation to conclude in ‘days’

Maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel that could help allocate oil and gas resources are close to concluding after around two years of negotiations, a top Lebanese security official said on Tuesday. “We’re talking about weeks – actually, days – to finish the delineation issue. I’m hopeful that the situation is positive,” the head […]

Lebanon’s bid for IMF rescue package hits snags

Five months after Lebanon’s draft International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal raised hopes it could finally pull together an economic reform plan to address its financial meltdown, political and financial elites are obstructing prospects of securing any rescue package. Efforts to enact eight reforms sought by the IMF are going nowhere or falling short, hitting resistance […]

Lebanon says TotalEnergies could help in maritime issues with Israel

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said on Tuesday that France-based oil and gas company, TotalEnergies, could help his country solve maritime demarcation issues with Israel, according to a post from the presidency office on Twitter. Aoun would make “contacts to help in this regard, will increase communications this month”, the office added. Lebanon and Israel are […]

There are tentative signs of recovery but inflation is still hampering the economy

Chink of light shines on Lebanon’s economic gloom

For nearly three years Lebanon’s economic meltdown has sunk the currency by more than 90 percent, spread poverty, paralysed the financial system and frozen depositors out of their savings. But new research released today suggests tentative signs of an improvement in private sector operating conditions. The August Blom Lebanon purchasing managers’ index (PMI) posted fractionally […]

Person, Human, Shoe

Lebanon banking secrecy law retains key problems: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) told the Lebanese state on Thursday its banking secrecy law has not resolved “key deficiencies,” urging officials to make new changes to their first attempt at financial reform. The assessment, seen by Reuters and confirmed by a government official as accurate, is the IMF’s first comment on Lebanon’s steps toward […]

Lebanon president returns bank secrecy law to parliament

Lebanon’s president on Wednesday returned to parliament an amended banking secrecy law that lawmakers passed around a month ago, saying it needed further tweaks to strengthen it. Parliament’s passage of the legislation on July 26 was considered a modest first step towards reforms required for Lebanon to access $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund […]

Chair, Furniture, Computer Keyboard

Public sector paralysed amid Lebanon’s economic implosion

It’s a weekday, but 50-year-old Lebanese finance ministry employee Walid Chaar is not at work and hasn’t been since June. He rushes to water the garden at his home in the hills south of Beirut, using the single hour of rationed state power to run the sprinkler. He then phones his mother, who is struggling […]

Kenyan migrant worker, Noel Musanga, uses her mobile phone in her apartment in Burj Hammoud, Lebanon

Lebanon telecoms mark-up threatens migrants’ livelihood

Kenyan cleaner Noel Musanga survived Lebanon’s economic meltdown, waves of Covid-19 and Beirut’s port blast. But when her internet provider announced rates would double, she feared her last lifeline to family and work would snap. The freelance migrant worker already barely earned enough to survive. Now, the higher telecoms bill means she will have to ration […]

Tie, Accessories, Accessory

Lebanon’s Mikati named PM, urges action to secure IMF deal

Lebanon’s Najib Mikati was named prime minister on Thursday, urging fractious politicians to set aside differences to secure an IMF deal which he said was the only chance to save the country from financial collapse. Facing a politically difficult path to agreeing on a new cabinet, the billionaire tycoon who led three previous governments said Lebanon […]

File photo of Karish field

Inside the Israel-Lebanon dispute blocking oil and gas exploration

A dispute between Israel and Lebanon over their maritime boundary has obstructed energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and risks exacerbating tensions between the nations. After months of deadlock in US-mediated talks, Beirut warned on Sunday against any activity in the disputed area – responding to the arrival of a vessel to develop a field […]

Elie Habib's Anghami generates close to one billion streams a month with a catalogue of more than 72 million Arabic and international tracks

Make some noise for Anghami’s Elie Habib

The Lebanese music streaming mogul talks to AGBI about the meteoric rise of his Nasdaq-listed company, its battles with music pirates, relocation to Abu Dhabi and his ambition to launch Arab music stars Elie Habib fell in love with coding early. He started selling software at the age of 17 and launched several companies in […]

A worker displays grains of wheat at a mill in Lebanon, where the cost of a loaf of bread rose 70 percent in March

Ukraine war drives Gulf to double down on food security

As the war in Ukraine has pushed up food prices and disrupted supply chains, hard-hit Mena countries explore ways to protect themselves In Abu Dhabi clusters of fresh tomatoes are growing inside rows of climate-controlled greenhouses in the middle of the desert – just one example of the lengths the arid region must go to […]

Hezbollah are riding high in the polls

Lebanese elections spark fears of more instability

The Lebanese government recently ordered the demolition of the blast-hit grain silos that were decimated during the August 4, 2020 port explosion. The silos absorbed much of the blast’s impact, saving sections of the city’s western residential areas from total devastation. The government has now determined that they must be removed amid reports that the tilting […]