Lebanon Businessnews News

Balance of payments
deficit in first six months
Reaches $1.12 billion,

reserves exceed $3 billion

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The deficit in the balance of payments (BoP) reached $1.12 billion in the first half of 2017, decreasing 37 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the Central Bank (BDL).

The deficit has triggered an operation by BDL to replenish its reserves, which exceeded $3 billion. The proceeds of this operation are expected to be reflected in July and subsequent months.

The full year of 2016 registered a surplus of $1.24 billion after BDL carried out financial engineering operations in order to boost foreign exchange reserves. It is the first surplus since 2010 when the BoP registered a surplus of $3.32 billion.

“We still have to see the impact of the summer season and the level of the financial inflows that will contribute to the full-year BoP in 2017,” said financial expert Joe Sarrouh.

The situation in the Gulf region has improved a little and remittances are unlikely to fall in a significant way, he said.

The BoP registered surpluses in the first three months of 2017, and then recorded increasing deficits in the following months of April, May, and June, amounting to $321 million, $592 million, and $758 million respectively.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Aug 04, 2017