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Central Bank vice governor: Financial system sound

People leave Lebanon's Central Bank in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, July 22, 2011. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese financial system continues to show resilience, according to the vice governor of the Central Bank, who said foreign reserves have reached $36 billion.

“The Central Bank has mastered the global rules of the game and deepened the sector’s immunity to the repercussions of the ongoing financial crisis,” Haroutioun Samuelian said during a graduation ceremony in Tripoli, north Lebanon.

Samuelian said the ongoing positive results of the sector have increased international trust in Lebanese financial institutions and made available the funds necessary to induce the economy.

Earlier this month, the Central Bank announced a stimulus plan, asking banks to allocate $1.45 billion for low-interest lending to productive sectors.

Samuelian added that regional and global risks are still significant, however the Central Bank and the Banking Control Commission are looking out for any such dangers.

“The Lebanese financial sector is safe, thanks to measures taken by the Central Bank. Banks have also raised the [Capital Adequacy Ratio] to 12 percent in compliance with Basel III standards,” he said.

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said last year that Lebanese banks would come into full compliance with Basel III recommendations three years in advance of the final deadline.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 30, 2013, on page 5.

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