Decoding Lebanon's Remaining Reserves: Beyond Dollars in the Central Bank's Vault

News Bulletin Reports
2023-08-17 | 09:22
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Decoding Lebanon's Remaining Reserves: Beyond Dollars in the Central Bank's Vault
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2min
Decoding Lebanon's Remaining Reserves: Beyond Dollars in the Central Bank's Vault

Here's the unfiltered truth officially revealed by the ongoing audit led by the Acting Deputy Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Walid Mansouri:

As of July 31st, all the Lebanese Central Bank possesses in its dollar reserves amounts to $8.57 billion, excluding gold holdings. These reserves are divided as follows:

Cash in the vault: $1.5 billion

Central Bank's accounts in foreign banks: $6.8 billion
Investments in stocks, international bonds, and others: $218 million

In addition to this approximately $8.5 billion, we can add the value of the Eurobonds held by the Central Bank, which had decreased to $387 million after previously being valued at $5.2 billion before the state declared a halt to debt payments.
This is the entirety of the remaining dollar liquidity. But hold on!
Against this, the Lebanese Central Bank has payments and dollar commitments amounting to $1.27 billion, according to the audit, which includes:

Dollars for the public sector in open accounts totaling $275 million

Accounts for local banks: $8 million

Remaining SDR dollars: $125 million

Open credits for various expenses such as electricity, maintenance, and other state expenses: $96 million
Loans and deposits that the central bank must return to Arab entities: $766 million

Suppose we subtract these payments ($1.27 billion) from the total reserves ($8.57 billion + Eurobonds $387 million). In that case, the reserves are still around $7.6 billion net.

Mansouri confirmed his commitment not to spend from the remaining reserve balance except to fulfill obligations and to pay depositors participating in circular number 158, which allows depositors to withdraw $400 monthly.

Will he be able to maintain this decision? Or will spending continue until the last dollar... and, ultimately, the gold?

News Bulletin Reports

Lebanon

BDL

Central Bank

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