October 3, 2019 / 8:19 AM / 21 days ago

Lebanon central bank ready to repay state's maturing dollar debt - Salameh

BEIRUT, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Lebanon’s central bank is ready to repay the state’s maturing dollar-denominated debt, Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, calling it an essential step for protecting the country’s credibility with the markets.

Lebanon has a $1.5 billion Eurobond maturing in November.

“The maturities that the Lebanese state has, we have also prepared for them, to pay for them in dollars,” Salameh told a conference. “I believe this matter is essential, and Banque du Liban is carrying this out for monetary reasons (and) for the protection of Lebanon’s credibility.”

Salameh also said he hoped the government would agree a 2020 budget that sends a positive signal to the markets by reducing the country’s deficit. (Reporting by Ellen Francis and Tom Perry; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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