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Lebanon net public debt at $59bn at end-June 2015

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - August 16, 2015, 12h06

Lebanon's gross public debt reached $69bn at the end of June 2015, constituting an increase of 3.7% from the end of 2014 and a rise of 5% from $65.7bn at end-June 2014, Byblos Bank ‘Lebanon This Week’ reported.

Domestic debt totaled $42.4bn at the end of June 2015, rising by 3.5% from end-2014 and by 7% year-on-year; while debt in foreign currency stood at $26.6bn, constituting an increase of 4% from the end of 2014 and a rise of 2.1% from a year earlier. Local currency debt accounted for 61.4% of gross public debt at the end of June 2015 compared to 60.3% a year earlier, while foreign currency-denominated debt represented the balance of 38.6% relative to 39.7% a year earlier.

The weighted interest rate on outstanding Treasury bills was 6.92% and that on Eurobonds was 6.48% at the end of June 2015. Further, the weighted life on Eurobonds was 5.79 years, while that on Treasury bills was 1,215 days.

Commercial banks held 48.2% of the local public debt at the end of June 2015 compared to 52.8% a year earlier. They were followed by the Central Bank with 34.9%, up from 29.9% at end-June 2014; while public agencies, financial institutions and the public accounted for 16.9% of local debt compared to 17.4% at the end of June 2014.

In parallel, Eurobond holders, foreign private sector loans and special T-bills in foreign currencies accounted for 91.8% of foreign-currency denominated debt, followed by foreign governments with 4.2%, multilateral institutions with 3.7%, and Paris II loans with 0.3%.

The net public debt, which excludes public sector deposits at the Central Bank and at commercial banks from overall debt figures, increased by 8.3% year-on-year to $59.5bn. In parallel, the gross market debt accounted for about 65% of total public debt. Gross market debt is the total public debt less the portfolios of the Central Bank, the National Social Security Fund, bilateral and multilateral loans, as well as Paris II and Paris III related debt.

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