Lebanon expects donors to deposit funds with Central Bank, deputy prime minister says



Lebanon anticipates allies will help it maintain the pound’s stability by depositing money with its central bank, Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani said on Sunday.

Beyond a pledge by Qatar to buy government bonds worth $500 million, Lebanon is looking “to have the confidence of Arab countries and other countries to place large deposits in the central bank of Lebanon, which is something that could happen fairly soon,” Mr Hasbani told Bloomberg Television at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Lebanon, one of the world’s most indebted countries, has sought to mobilise support and allay investor concerns that it risks a financial meltdown driven by political turmoil and doubts over its ability to repay creditors. The government, which was formed recently after nine months of deadlock, also needs time to implement steps negotiated with international donors in return for $11 billion in aid.

Lebanese officials have already hinted that some countries would step up, with Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil saying Qatar’s decision would be a “prelude” to similar moves by others. Soon after Qatar’s pledge last month, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister said the kingdom would support Lebanon “all the way.” He didn’t give details.

Mr Hasbani said it’s too early to say how Saudi Arabia might offer more backing, in addition to what it pledged at the donor conference in Paris. It “may not come in the form of assistance as much as in the form of deposits in the central bank,” he said

Wealthy Gulf states have often doled out money by placing funds on deposit with central banks to boost liquidity and reserves. Recent recipients of such support packages include Pakistan and Jordan.

Moody’s Investors Service estimates the budget deficit probably widened to 10.5 per cent of gross domestic product last year, up from its previous expectation for 8.9 per cent. The ratio of debt to GDP will exceed 150 per cent by 2021 from a forecast level of 141 per cent in 2018, according to the rating company.

The Lebanese government’s priority now is reducing the budget deficit and starting a major investment program in infrastructure to spur growth and attract private investments, Mr Hasbani said.

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Rating: 3/5

Brief scoreline:

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Papastathopoulos 80'

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1. Bhiwadi, India
2. Ghaziabad, India
3. Hotan, China
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5. Jaunpur, India
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Jul 3- 14, in the Netherlands
The top two teams will qualify to play at the World T20 in the West Indies in November

UAE squad
Humaira Tasneem (captain), Chamani Seneviratne, Subha Srinivasan, Neha Sharma, Kavisha Kumari, Judit Cleetus, Chaya Mughal, Roopa Nagraj, Heena Hotchandani, Namita D’Souza, Ishani Senevirathne, Esha Oza, Nisha Ali, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi

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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


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Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

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Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

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Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
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Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

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