The data released by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently indicated that Lebanon’s gross public debt hit $101.72B in June 2022, thereby recording an annual increase of 4.1% YOY.
The rise is mainly attributed to the annual increase in both local and foreign currency debt by 2.09% and 7.27%, respectively. In details, debt in local currency (denominated in LBP) stood at $61.74B in June 2022. As such, domestic debt constituted 60.69% of the total public debt.
Meanwhile, total debt denominated in foreign currency (namely in USD) reached $39.98B over the same period. In turn, total foreign debt grasped a stake of 39.31% of the total public debt by June 2022. It is worth mentioning that $11.28B 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 decreased by 4.15% YOY to $47.06B in June 2022. As a result, the public deposits are estimated at $14.68B, amassed to cover increasing social assistance payments to public employees.
The Lebanese government is working towards the implementation of the IMF’s demands in order to finalize a bailout program and among them is restructuring external public debt. Nevertheless, the progress of Lebanese policymakers remains slow despite urgent need to act.
Domestic and Foreign Debt by June 2022 ($B)
Source: MoF, BLOMINVEST Bank