The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) on Wednesday issued a statement urging the new government to pay off the maturing Eurobonds in March in a bid to protect the interests of Lebanese depositors.
“In the coming weeks, Lebanon faces grave financial deadlines, the most important of which is deciding on the issue of Eurobonds which are due in March, and which have sparked a wide debate on whether or not they should be paid,” the ABL’s statement said, reminding that the government has previously announced that the fulfillment of Lebanon’s financial obligations was a “stable policy”.
“Failure to pay Lebanon’s external debts is a matter that should be approached with great precision and precaution,” the statement added, noting that current suggestions propose rescheduling the public debt or restructuring it in agreement with creditors.
“To accomplish this matter requires time, communications, and mechanisms that conform to international standards and similar approaches adopted by other countries. It calls for the use of the competent international bodies to build credible financial and monetary programs,” the ABL statement explained.
However, it warned that time was running out and was not enough to delve into the aforementioned option.
“The remaining period until the maturity of Eurobonds in March is very short and does not allow apt preparation and efficient handling of this important national issue.”
Therefore, the Association of Banks in Lebanon said that for the sake of protecting the interests of depositors, not to mention Lebanon’s survival amidst the global financial market, March’s debt must be paid on time in line with immediate actions to address the entire public debt file.
The ABL statement also indicated that the means by which this major financial deadline was dealt with by the new government “is a very important indication of the way it will deal with the international community in the future.”
Source: National News Agency