Housing Bank loans
to reach $100 million in 2018
The bank exceeded its quota,
provided its own subsidies
The value of loans granted by Banque de l’Habitat (the Housing Bank) in 2018 is likely to reach LL155 billion ($103 million), said Joseph Sassine Chairman of the bank.
“The Central Bank (BDL) has subsidized the interest rates of LL50 billion ($33 million) of these loans, which is our annual quota, and will subsidize next year another LL63 billion ($42 million) of the loans approved in 2018,” Sassine said. The remainder of the loans provided in 2018, amounting to LL42 billion ($28 million) will be subsidized from special reserves set aside for this purpose by the Housing Bank, he said.
BDL decided earlier this year to subsidize the interest rate of loans provided by the Housing Bank after commercial banks ceased granting subsidized housing loans when their subsidy quotas for 2018 were completely used up.
Sassine said they expect to secure their quota of the interest subsidy package that the Central Bank plans to launch next year.
The Housing Bank is using its own resources to provide loans at a subsidized interest rate of 3.75 percent. Sassine said that they are still awaiting the formation of a new Cabinet to get its approval for a possible soft loan from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. He said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has turned down their request for a loan on the grounds that EBRD’s financing is restricted to specific sectors.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Dec 11, 2018