IMF may visit Lebanon in mid-March to discuss aid package – Deputy PM


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen ahead of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

BEIRUT, March 2 (Reuters) – An International Monetary Fund delegation could visit Lebanon in the second half of March to continue talks on a reform-backed aid package, Lebanese Deputy Prime Minister Saadeh said on Wednesday. Chami in a statement.

Lebanese officials held talks with the IMF last month in a bid to strike a deal seen as the only way to secure the country’s exit from a 2019 financial meltdown that sent the currency plummeting and left most of people in poverty.

An IMF technical team visited Lebanon from February 28 to March 1 “to take stock of the work already done and outline the next steps needed to reach an agreement on the IMF program”, the statement said.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

These would include “certain legislation required before presenting the program to the IMF Executive Board for final approval”.

Sources briefed on the February talks previously told Reuters that these would include lifting or changing the country’s strict banking secrecy regulations, credited with boosting Lebanon’s economy in the past but now seen as hiding ill-gotten gains and allowing tax evasion.

“Both sides also agreed that any delay in implementing necessary reforms and supporting legislation will increase the cost of adjustment in the future,” the statement said.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad and Timour Azhari Editing by John Stonestreet and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Previous Title Insurance Industry's Youngest Latino CEO David Bravo, Jr. Named Emerging Latino Entrepreneur
Next Former Illinois House of Representatives Speaker Charged with $3 Million Bribes | national