Lebanon’s international creditors urge new government to start debt restructuring talks

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A view of the Central Bank of Lebanon building in Beirut, Lebanon on April 23, 2020. REUTERS / Mohamed Azakir / File Photo / File Photo

LONDON, Sept.21 (Reuters) – A group of Lebanese bondholders, including some of the world’s largest investment funds, on Tuesday urged the new government to start debt restructuring talks as soon as possible to help deal with the country’s severe financial crisis.

Lebanon suffered its first international default in March after years of political upheaval and economic mismanagement that made it unable to service more than 170% of the GDP debt burden.

After a year of political stalemate, Lebanese leaders put in place a new government headed by Sunni Muslim tycoon Najib Mikati earlier this month, tasking him with rebuilding an economy where three-quarters of the population are now in the poverty. Read more

The creditors’ group said in a statement that it “hopes and hopes the new government will promote a swift, transparent and fair debt restructuring process.”

“Such a process will require the government to engage significantly with the International Monetary Fund as well as with international creditors and partners in Lebanon’s official sector,” he added.

Reporting by Marc Jones and Tom Arnold, editing by Karin Strohecker

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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