SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 September 2021, Sunday |

Lebanon’s public debt increased four percent last year

Gross public debt rose by almost $4 billion in 2020 reaching $95.6 billion. Around 62 percent of the debt was denominated in Lebanese lira and 38 percent in foreign currencies.

Debt in lira rose by 2.7 percent to $59.5 billion (at the official exchange rate of LL1,500 /USD). The Central Bank held the equivalent of $36.5 billion, followed by banks ($15.3 billion), and non-bank entities and individuals (7.6 percent). The average maturity of debt was 4.65 years at a weighted average interest rate of 6.42 percent.

Debt in foreign currencies rose 6.8 percent to $36 billion. The increase was mainly due to accrued interests as no additional debt in foreign currencies was issued in 2020. Most of this debt is in the form of Eurobonds that were defaulted on in 2020, and therefore has no longer maturities or interest until the issue is resolved.

Net public debt, which is calculated by deducting the $10 billion public sector deposits from gross debt, increased by more than five percent to $85 billion.