February 26, 2020 / 2:00 PM / 3 months ago

Lebanon pays $71 mln in Eurobond interest - source

BEIRUT, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Lebanon on Wednesday paid $71 million in coupons due on Eurobonds maturing in 2025 and 2030, a source familiar with the matter said, a day after appointing legal and financial advisers for a widely expected debt restructuring.

Lebanon, grappling with an unprecedented financial crisis and a hard currency liquidity crunch, is under pressure to decide what to do about its looming sovereign debt maturities, the first of them a $1.2 billion Eurobond due on March 9.

The government on Tuesday appointed investment bank Lazard and law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as its financial and legal advisers.

Lebanon is one of the world’s most heavily indebted states with public debt equivalent to more than 150% of its GDP. Its long-brewing economic crisis came to a head last year as capital inflows slowed and protests erupted against the ruling elite. (Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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