According to the balance sheet of Banque du Liban (BDL), the central bank’s total assets added 7.7% compared to last year, to reach $166.63B by end-April 2022. The increase was mainly due to the 31.66% year-on-year (YOY) rise in other assets, grasping 39.07% of BDL’s total assets and reaching $65.1B by end of April 2022.
Moreover, the gold account, representing 10.59% of BDL’s total assets, increased by 7.78% yearly to reach $17.65B by end of April 2022, as the international gold price is increasing globally amid the war in Ukraine and universal uncertainty.
Meanwhile, BDL’s foreign assets, grasping 9.75% of total assets, decreased by 24.9% YOY to stand at $16.25B by end of April 2022. In more details, BDL’s foreign assets dropped by 8.84% since year start with $229.37M drop in the month of April 2022. The Central Bank is most likely taking measures to absorb Lebanese liquidity from the market through Circular 161 (Sayrafa) with the objective to appreciate the local currency.
On the liabilities front, financial sector deposits, 66.25% of BDL’s total liabilities, slightly increased by 2.23% and reached $110.39B by end of April 2022 compared to last year, of which more than two thirds are denominated in dollars.
Currency in Circulation outside of BDL, consisted of 16.38% of BDL’s total liabilities, increased annually by 7.62% and reached $27.3B by end of April 2022. Interesting to note that since the Circular 161 was introduced in December 2021, the money in circulation had been dropping considerably but it increased by $2,942M in the month of April, and not coincidentally, the exchanged rate of the Lebanese pound (LBP) against the USD ($) depreciated considerably close to 28,000.
BDL Total, Foreign assets and Currency in Circulation end of April 2022 ($B)
Source: BDL, BLOMINVEST