Mon 24 February 2020:
(REUTERS) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will continue meetings with Lebanese authorities on Monday, sources familiar with the process said, extending a visit to provide technical advice that was expected to end on Sunday.
Lebanon has not requested financial assistance from the IMF as it draws up a rescue plan to tackle a long-brewing financial crisis that spiraled last year as capital inflows slowed and protests erupted against the ruling elite.
Lebanon is grappling with an acute liquidity crunch that has prompted banks fearing capital flight to impose strict controls. The Lebanese pound has slumped by about 60 percent on a parallel market, hiking inflation.
Saddled with one of the highest public debt burdens in the world, Beirut must decide quickly what to do about fast-approaching debt payments including a $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing on March 9.
Global credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s downgraded Lebanon’s credit rating deeper into junk territory on Friday, citing anticipated losses to creditors from what they said was a likely debt restructuring.
#Lebanon‘s banking secrecy laws make dodging taxes embarrassingly easy. Compare the maze ↓ for auditing citizens’ bank information in Lebanon with the process in Denmark.
— Triangle – Policy | Research | Media (@Think_Triangle) December 13, 2019
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