According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Lebanon’s gross public debt recorded an annual uptick of 6.46%, to reach $79.36B in the first 11 months of 2017.
In details, debt in local currency, LBP, (constituting 61.65% of the total gross public debt) rose by a yearly 5.54% to stand at $48.93B, while debt in foreign currency (38.35% of gross debt) climbed by 7.98% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach $30.43B by Nov. 2017.
It is noticeable that the composition of the debt stock slightly changed this month, with debt in foreign currency recording a growth rate exceeding that of debt in Lebanese pounds. This is attributed to the $1.7B Eurobonds swap issuance conducted by the MoF with the central bank, to help boost BDL’s foreign currency reserves following the political crisis Lebanon faced with the resignation of its Prime Minister (PM) on Nov. 4th. In fact, the transaction entailed redeeming LBP2.56 trillion worth of Treasury bills in return for the equivalent of $1.7B in Eurobonds.
In terms of LBP debt holders, the MoF/BDL transaction also increased the share of local currency debt held by Lebanese commercial banks, compared to BDL’s. In details, BDL grasped 46.2% of total debt in LBP in November 2017, down from 46.8% last month. Meanwhile, the stake of commercial banks climbed from 38.3% in October 2017 to 38.8% this November. The non-banking sector’s share of gross total debt in LBP stood at 15% of total debt this month.
As for foreign currency debt, Eurobonds constituted 92.5% of the total debt this November, up from 92% in October, while the remaining was covered by multilateral and bilateral loans.
The net public debt, which excludes the public sector deposits at commercial banks and the Central Bank, rose by 7.11% y-o-y and by 6.65% compared to December 2016, to reach $69.77B by Nov. 2017.
Gross Public Debt & its Constituents by November
Source : MoF