Lebanon Businessnews News

Oxygen Fund for imports
of industrial raw materials
Platform to raise

$750 million scalable to $3 billion

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The Central Bank (BDL) said a fund will be created to raise $750 million and a sustainable and scalable lending program of $3 billion per year will be set up to help small and medium sized industrialists finance raw material imports.

The ‘Lebanese Economy Oxygen Fund’ will be launched in April. It will be a Europe-based platform with a mix of fintech and credit facilities.

This mechanism offers a permanent solution for manufacturers to import raw materials.

The fund will operate from Europe with the sole purpose of providing short term facilities to importers and exporters. This will be done in partnership with Lebanese banks and in coordination with the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and the Ministry of Industry.

The platform will be managed by Alexandre Harkous, a fintech expert and Paris-based asset manager, in collaboration with senior members of the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE).

An experienced team with over 15 years of track record in emerging and MENA markets will be formed. The team is specialized in credit, trade finance, and financial technology. It will start work in the coming weeks, with the help of local and international trade financial experts.

Last week, BDL freed $100 million of the manufacturers’ own foreign currency funds deposited at the banking sector to finance imports of raw materials. That temporary measure only covers two weeks-worth of raw material imports.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Mar 10, 2020
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