Subsidized housing loans
funded from 2019 budget
Approvals were halted after
all funds were deployed
The Central Bank will increase the number of housing loans that will benefit from the interest rate subsidy.
The total amount earmarked for housing loan subsidies for 2018 has been completely used up in just one month due to a large number of loan applications that have been rolled over from last year’s excess demand.
Riad Salameh, the Governor of the Central Bank (BDL), said that some banks made commitments beyond their assigned quotas. BDL asked them to fulfill these obligations by using funds from the forthcoming 2019 subsidy package.
A source said that BDL is also considering increasing the ceiling of subsidized housing loans for 2018 beyond the previously allocated $500 million.
The 2018 stimulus program, worth up to $1 billion, was launched by BDL in early February. The program grants interest subsidies for housing loans and for loans mainly provided to productive sectors.
The program differs from the previous one as the banks will have to provide the loans from their own liquidity. BDL will subsidize the interest rates.
The $1 billion stimulus package originally earmarked for 2017 was also used up before the end of the year. BDL allocated $500 million in additional subsidies in October.
A total of $5.9 billion has been injected into the economy under this program, which was launched in 2013.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Mar 06, 2018