Minister: Lebanon may sell $2b Eurobonds

16 Feb 2010

(MENAFN) Lebanese Finance Minister Raya Haffar el-Hassan stated that the government will sell $2 billion of Eurobonds or carry out a debt swap in one of the world’s most heavily indebted countries, Bloomberg reported.

The Middle Eastern country has a total of $2.15 billion in Eurobonds maturing in March and November of 2010 and about $8.3 billion in maturing treasury bills throughout the year.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government, which was formed in November, has to finance public debt that reached $51 billion, or about 156 percent of gross domestic product, at the end of 2009.

The previous government had aimed to reduce debt by raising about $7 billion from the sale of two mobile-phone licenses. Those plans were put on hold because of an 18-month political crisis that eased in May 2008, and then delayed further by the global credit crisis and parliamentary elections in June 2009.

In November, Lebanon sold $250 million of Eurobonds maturing in 2015 and $250 million of the 2024 notes. They are currently yielding 5.66 percent and 7.05 percent respectively, compared with 5.72 percent and 7.02 percent on Dec. 14.

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