Lebanon Businessnews News

Riad Salameh mandate
renewed unanimously
Governor of the Central

Bank for the fifth time

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The Council of Ministers has unanimously reappointed for the fifth time Riad Salameh as Governor of the Central Bank (BDL). Governor since 1993, he was reappointed for a six-year term in 1999, 2005, and 2011.

Before his reappointment, Salameh was the world's second longest-serving central bank governor, following Uzbekistan.

Together with Parliament speaker Nabih Berri, they form the longest serving high level officials.

Many economists, businesspeople, and politicians have recommended Salameh for his major role in supporting the financial sector and the economy.

He was instrumental in protecting the lira and since 1997 maintaining a stable foreign exchange rate. He also launched incentive programs to stimulate the economy, especially in the productive and energy sectors as well as knowledge-based startups.

Some political factions, however, had previously shown reservation regarding his reappointment. They criticized BDL’s role in swap operations with the banks that they considered controversial.

Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, issued a congratulatory statement praising the Council of Ministers for “showing keen interest in the benefit of the State and citizens, and the protection of its economic security and banking sector, and most importantly the national currency. The mandate renewal will have very positive economic, financial, and banking impact, will give the State momentum.”

The Governor chairs the Higher Banking Commission, the Special Investigation Commission, and the Capital Markets Authority. He also chairs BDL’s Central Council, its Governing Board, and the Open Market and Investment Committees.

Salameh represents Lebanon at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: May 24, 2017