Lebanon’s risk score sees slight downgrade

BEIRUT: In its quarterly survey of 189 economies covering the three months period until the end of June 2012, Euromoney revised Lebanon’s global ranking of country risk slightly downward.

The country ranked 94th in the current survey compared to the 91st spot in the previous one in March 2012 and the 92nd in that of June 2011.

On a regional basis, Lebanon ranked 11th out of 17 MENA countries, sustaining the same spot as that reported a year ago and in the previous quarter.

Lebanon’s country risk score also took a downturn of 7.7 percent from June 2011 and 2.1 percent from March 2012 to reach 38.6 points out of 100.

Globally, it outperformed Albania, Guatemala and Tanzania while it was surpassed by Seychelles, Angola and Ukraine. Regionally, it came after Morocco, Jordan and Algeria, and it outdid Egypt, Iraq and Libya.

The survey evaluates individual country risk by assigning a weighting to six categories that cover political risks (30 percent), economic performance (30 percent), access to bank finance accounts and capital markets (ATCM) (10 percent), debt indicators (10 percent), credit ratings (10 percent) and structural assessment (10 percent).

Lebanon was ranked 88th in terms of political risk, sustaining the same position as in March 2012 despite the sporadic outbreaks of violence that occurred in the three months following the previous survey.

With respect to the rest of the components, Lebanon witnessed a relative drop in the rankings: economic performance (-3), structural assessment (-2), debt indicators (-6), credit ratings (-2) and access to bank finance accounts and capital markets (-6).

Euromoney noted that for now, the MENA region retains comparative stability in the eyes of economists, given the tumultuous events in 2011.

Yet while the region’s oil producers remain insulated from the worsening global outlook, declining economists’ scores point to concern that the area as a whole is not immune from external factors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 28, 2012, on page 4.




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