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Moody : Lebanon's public debt rises 5.3% y/y to $66.6bn at end-November

01/26/2015 | 11:23am US/Eastern

Lebanon's' gross pubic debt grew 5.3% y/y to LBP100.44tn ($66.6bn) at end-November 2014, slowing from a 6% annual growth a month earlier, data from the central bank showed.

Rising LBP-denominated domestic debt, as local banks remain the main subscribers to the Treasury issuances, continues to  boost Lebanon's gross public debt.

Moody's downgraded on December 16 Lebanon's government bond ratings to B2 from B1 and maintained the negative outlook. Lebanon's creditworthiness is undermined by worsening government debt metrics and the sharp spillover effects from the Syrian crisis on government finances, economic growth and political stability, according to Moody's.

Net public debt, which excludes public sector deposits at commercial banks and the central bank from gross public debt, rose 6.6% ytd to LBP85.5tn at end-November.

The LBP-denominated debt grew 10.2% y/y to LBP61.6tn (61.3% of the total) at end-November whereas the FX-denominated debt retreated 1.5% y/y to LBP38.8tn.

Lebanon's general government debt will reach 144% of GDP this year, S&P forecasts.

Banks held 51% of the LBP debt at end-November and the central bank had a 31.7% share. Nearly 17.0% of the debt was held by the non-banking sector. Eurobonds (90.2%), multilateral (4.2%), bilateral (4.8%), Paris II loans (0.3%) and others (0.5%) constituted the FX debt.

(c) 2014 Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings LLC Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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