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Governor of Lebanon Central Bank denies bankruptcy

April 4, 2022 at 9:45 pm

Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh in Beirut on 20 December 2021 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]

The Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, denied on Monday that the bank is bankrupt and said, despite the size of the losses in the financial sector, the Central Bank continues to act in the markets as prescribed by law, Anadolu News Agency reported.

Salameh’s remarks came in a statement issued by the Central Bank in an apparent response to deputy Prime Minister, Saadeh Al-Shami who said earlier on Sunday that both the State and the Central Bank have gone bankrupt.

“The State has gone bankrupt as did the Banque du Liban, and the loss has occurred, and we will seek to reduce losses for the people,” al-Shami told the local Al-Jadeed TV channel.

Al-Shami said the losses will be distributed among the State, the Banque du Liban, banks and depositors.

“There is no conflict of views about the distribution of losses,” he added.

However, the Central Bank said in its statement on Monday that the Bank continues to exercise its role despite the losses afflicting the financial sector in Lebanon, which are being treated as part of the recovery plan prepared by the Lebanese government in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.

For two and a half years, Lebanon has been experiencing the worst economic crisis in its history, which led to a financial collapse, as well as great material losses incurred by the banking system, estimated by the government at about $69 billion.

In a previous interview with Anadolu News Agency, the Lebanese Economy Minister, Amin Salam, said that Lebanon seeks to borrow $3-4 billion from the International Monetary Fund, as a first stage.

READ: World Bank: The Lebanese crisis is among the three worst crises in the world