Lebanon’s Balance of Payments Deficit at $4.35B by the end of 2019

According to Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s Balance of Payments (BoP) registered a deficit of $4.35B by the end of 2019, compared to a deficit of $4.82B deficit recorded during the same period in 2018. In details, BDL’s Net Foreign Assets (NFA) dropped by $2.4B while NFAs of commercial banks fell by $1.95B in Q4 2019.

On a monthly basis, the BoP recorded an $840.8M deficit in December 2019, compared to a deficit of $747.5M in December last year. In fact, NFAs of BDL and commercial banks retreated by $826.8M and $14M in December 2019, respectively. Also, the slump in NFAs of BDL can be related to the Central Bank covering the imports of essential goods, including fuel, wheat and medicine. As for the commercial banks, their NFAs are the difference between Foreign Assets (Claims on nonresident customers, Claims on nonresident financial sector and non-resident securities portfolio) and Foreign Liabilities (nonresident customers’ deposits and nonresident financial sector liabilities). In details, the foreign assets and liabilities of commercial banks witnessed approximately an equal monthly decrease of $1.85B  which explains the small change in the NFAs of commercial bank.

Balance of Payments (BoP) by December in $M

Lebanon’s Balance of Payments Deficit at $4.35B by the end of 2019

Source: BDL

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