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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

IMF urges Lebanon to restore confidence in banking, financial sectors

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Beirut, Sep 22 (Ajit Weekly News) The IMF mission chief for Lebanon urged the country to take measures to restore its financial confidence.

Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, who led an IMF delegation to Beirut on a three-day visit, made the remarks in a meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace, reports Xinhua news agency.

Rigo said the confidence in the two “was completely lost”, stressing the need for Lebanon to unify the exchange rate and expedite the preparation of the 2023 draft budget after approving the 2022 budget.

The IMF official said he was hopeful that Lebanon would make progress in implementing reforms to sign the final agreement with the International Monetary Fund in late September or early October.

For his part, Aoun told the delegation that “he had expected the implementation of more reforms, but several obstacles by different political parties delayed the achievement of what was required”.

The IMF delegation’s visit focuses on recent developments in the Lebanese economy and the implementation of prior actions detailed in an aid agreement reached between the two sides on April 7.

The development after the Lebanese pound again sank to a new historic low against the US dollar on the parallel market as the country continues to suffer from a steep financial crisis and a political deadlock.

On Monday, the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound declined to 39,000 against the dollar, down from the previous record low of 36,600 on September 13.

In May, the exchange rate of the currency declined to 34,000 against the US dollar.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis that resulted in the collapse of the local currency.

Hit by intertwined political, economic and health crises, Lebanon’s poverty rate now has risen to more than 74 per cent, according to the World Bank.

–Ajit Weekly News
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