Lebanon Businessnews News

$450 million available
for housing loans
Riad Salameh: We remind

everybody that the lira is our currency

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“We remind everybody that the lira is the country’s currency and that the Central Bank (BDL) will continue to ensure the stability of its exchange rate,” said Riad Salameh, Governor of BDL.

He said that that the recent increase of the price of the dollar at foreign exchange (forex) counters was due to a rise in demand for the greenback that has been ongoing since last June. According to Salameh, a difference has always existed between the prices of the dollar in banks and at forex counters.

He said that BDL is preparing to issue circulars about electronic means of payments and credit to ease payment and borrowing operations for citizens. Salameh reiterated that the digital currency that BDL plans to launch will be in lira. He said that the digital currency will allow consumers to make their payments at lower costs.

The Central Bank will continue to subsidize housing loans and there is $280 million available in a number of banks allocated for such loans, Salameh said. In addition to this, there is the sum of $170 million provided by Kuwait for housing loans that is awaiting the Cabinet’s approval, he said.

Joseph Sassine, Chairman of Banque de l'Habitat (The Housing Bank), said earlier this year that they had secured a 30-year soft loan of KWD50 million ($165 million) from the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Sassine said at the time that a preliminary agreement had been signed between the Arab Fund and the Council for Development and Reconstruction for this purpose and that the financing was still awaiting the Cabinet’s approval.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Oct 03, 2019
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