The data released by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently, indicated that Lebanon’s gross public debt hit $96.82B in the second month of 2021, thereby recording an annual increase of 5%.
The rise is mainly attributed to the annual increase in both local and foreign currency debt by 3.78% and 7%, respectively. In details, debt in local currency (denominated in LBP) stood at $60.37B in February 2021. As such, domestic debt constituted 62.35% of the total public debt.
Meanwhile, total debt denominated in foreign currency (namely in USD) reached $36.45B over the same period. Therefore, total foreign debt grasped a stake of 37.65% of the total public debt by February 2021. It is worth mentioning that $4.91B represents the unpaid Eurobonds, their coupons and accrued interests, due to the default on government Eurobonds in March 2020.
Looking at net domestic debt, which excludes public sector deposits with the central bank and commercial banks, it increased by 5.56% annually to $50.25B in February 2021.
The public debt for Lebanon may not see refrains for the coming period as the State Electricity Company is still being subsidied by BDL through a request from the Lebanese government. In turn, a joint session by June 16th has been called by the Parliament Speaker to discuss the draft law aimed to approve the ration card and to open an additional and extraordinary credit for its financing. All the above decisions will contribute to the increase of the gross public debt of Lebanon.
Domestic and Foreign Debt by February ($B)
Source: MoF, BLOMINVEST