The data released by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently indicated that Lebanon’s gross public debt hit $100.38B in December 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 3.89% and 6.84%, respectively. In details, debt in local currency (denominated in LBP) stood at $61.86B in December 2021. As such, domestic debt constituted 61.63% of the total public debt.
Meanwhile, total debt denominated in foreign currency (namely in USD) reached $38.52B over the same period. In turn, total foreign debt grasped a stake of 38.37% of the total public debt by December 2021. It is worth mentioning that $9.45B 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 slightly decreased by 0.82% YTD to $49.1 in December 2021.
We hope that Lebanon reaches a final approval with IMF in order to restructure the public debt and implement new fiscal reforms, thus ensuring debt sustainability and creating fiscal space to invest in social spending, reconstruction and infrastructure.
Domestic and Foreign Debt by December ($B)
Source: MoF, BLOMINVEST Bank
By: Stephanie Aoun