Riad Salameh: Dollar reserves climbed by $1.4 billion

Lebanese Central Bank announced that dollar reserves climbed by $1.4 billion in the first two months of the year and its total assets in dollars exceeded $43 billion.

This marks a recovery from a decline in 2017, Riad Salameh added during an economic conference organized by Lebanese business magazine Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal in cooperation with Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Salameh also told that November’s increase in local currency interest rates of around 2 percentage points had been enough to iron out market imbalances.

“With the rise of interest rates and the return of political issues to normal, the dollar reserves at the central bank rose by around $1.4 billion by the end of February since the end of 2017,” he told the conference.

Tuesday’s conference was a roadshow for Lebanon’s government before an international donor and investor conference in Paris in April seeking support for infrastructure development.

PM Hariri was also present at the conference, where he said that the success of the April meeting will focus primarily on the international community’s serious intention to stand by Lebanon and support its economy.

The private sector will play a prominent role in the Paris meeting, Lebanon must undertake needed reform to encourage the sector and establish capabilities that would enable the state to stop the squandering of public funds and combat corruption.