$165 million loan for Housing Bank
Funding for 1,000 homebuyers
The Cabinet has approved a KD50 million ($165 million) loan provided by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development to Banque de l'Habitat (The Housing Bank).
It is a 30-year soft loan. The Housing Bank will pay an interest rate of 2.5 percent on the loan. It will charge borrowers a fixed rate of 5.5 percent for 30 years, according to Joseph Sassine, Chairman of The Housing Bank.
The Central Bank will provide the equivalent lira amount of this loan to be used for lending to homebuyers.
According to Sassine, the new funds will enable the bank to provide around 1,000 loans.
As per the Arab Fund requirements, 80 percent of the loan is earmarked for homebuyers whose family income does not exceed LL6,750,000 per month ($4,500 per official rates, and $2,750 per today’s street exchange rate). The ceiling for these loans is LL300 million ($200,000 official rate and $125,000 street rate). A ceiling of LL450 million was set for loans of homebuyers whose family income per month is between LL6,750,000 and LL10 million.
The loan was agreed to in March 2019. It still requires approval from Parliament.
“The Arab Fund is willing to provide the bank with new loans,” said Sassine.
The Housing Bank will provide another 1,000 loans from its own resources, according to Sassine.
The Housing Bank had obtained a loan of nearly $112 million from the Arab Fund in 2013.
Reported by Gisele Khalaf
Date Posted: Feb 21, 2020