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How Much Do Banks Profit from Lebanon’s Public Debt?
By Staff, Al-Akhbar Newspaper
Lebanon’s public debt, which reached $79.5 billion in 2017, is distributed among five main entities: commercial banks (40%), the Central Bank of Lebanon [BDL] (35%), public institutions (9%), foreign creditors and foreign state creditors (16%). However, local commercial banks own the lion's share of these very high-yielding debt, without taking any risk.
According to Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper, there are about 50 commercial banks, but only 10 of them account for more than 82% of the total assets and employment of the banking sector. These banks employ about $31.9 billion in public debt, distributed between $18.4 billion in lira (treasury bonds) and $13.5 billion in foreign currency debt (Eurobonds).
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