Lebanon to request IMF technical help

BEIRUT: Lebanon will ask the International Monetary Fund for technical assistance to draw up a stabilisation plan for its financial and economic crisis, including how to restructure its public debt, a government source said on Wednesday.
The official request for technical help would be sent to the IMF soon, the source said. “There has been contact with the IMF but Lebanon will send an official request in the coming hours to have a team dedicated to dealing with technical assistance,” the source said.
“Lebanon is… seeking advice from the IMF on whether to pay the Eurobond maturity amid concerns that any reprofiling of Lebanon’s debt should be conducted in an orderly way to avoid damaging the country’s banking system,” the source said, referring to a $1.2 billion Eurobond maturing on March 9.
Lebanon’s banking association has said it was necessary to repay the Eurobond on time to protect depositors and preserve the country’s place in international financial markets.
The association said in a statement that debt restructuring requires time and the assistance of international institutions. It said very little time remains before the maturity on March 9, which does not allow for preparation and “competent handling.” — AFP/Reuters