In March 2017, the BoP managed to register a surplus of $46.3M, with BDL’s Net Foreign Assets (NFAs) contracting by $1,158.1M and the NFAs of commercial banks surging by a monthly $1,204.4M. In fact, the decline in BDL NFAs was due to the government’s $1.5B maturing Eurobonds that were mainly held by foreign institutions. This outflow was only partially compensated by the $600M participation by these institutions into the new Eurobonds issue of $3B on March 23rd. The substantial rise in commercial banks’ NFAs could be attributed to the commercial banks selling part of their holding in the new Eurobonds issue to foreign entities and used the receipts to replenish their foreign assets following last year’s drop as a result of the BDL swap operation.
Therefore, Lebanon’s Balance of Payments (BoP) ended Q1 2017 with a surplus that totaled $554.8M, compared to the $644.2M deficit recorded in Q1 2016. In details, BDL’s Net Foreign Assets (NFAs) slipped by $552.8M over the period, while commercial banks’ NFAs rose by $1,107.6M by March 2017, compared to a $237.1M drop a year earlier.
Balance of Payments (BoP) in Q1 (in $M)