BDL Foreign Assets decreased by 35% by Mid-August 2021

According to the balance sheet of Banque du Liban (BDL), the central bank’s total assets added 2.75% compared to last year, to reach $158.4B by mid-August 2021. The increase was mainly due to the 40.05% year-on-year (YOY) rise in other assets, grasping 35.09% of BDL’s total assets and reaching $55.58B by mid-August 2021. However, the gold account, composing 10.23% of BDL’s total assets decreased by 10.22% yearly to reach $16.19B by the same period.

BDL’s foreign assets (grasping 12.50% of total assets) decreased by 35.50% YOY to stand at $19.76B by mid of August 2021. In details, this account mainly includes Eurobonds held by BDL, and reserves that BDL possesses with foreign correspondents and other short-term instruments. In fact, this account doesn’t totally reflect the real situation. For instance, Eurobonds are estimated to be $5.03B; however, those Eurobonds are currently trading on average at 15 percent per dollar, which raises questions about the value of Eurobonds on BDL’s balance sheet. That is why a better estimate of liquid and ready foreign reserves excludes them, which implies that foreign currency reserves amount for $14.7B only.

On the liabilities front, financial sector deposits (67.61% of BDL’s total liabilities) recorded a downtick of 3.01% YOY to settle at $107.07B by mid of August 2021, of which more than two thirds are denominated in dollars.

Looking at Currency in Circulation outside of BDL (17.10% of BDL’s total liabilities) it increased by 24.28% jumping from $21.78B by mid of August  2020 to $27.07B mid of August 2021.

BDL Total, Foreign assets and currency in circulation mid-August ($B)

BDL Foreign Assets decreased by 35% by Mid-August 2021

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