Lebanon swaps $1.4b in eurobonds

Lebanon's Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil talks during a news conference in the Ministry of Finance in Beirut April 29, 2014. (REUTERS/Sharif Karim)

BEIRUT: Lebanon successfully swapped $1.4 billion in eurobonds that mature in April and May and 23 percent were snapped up by foreign investors, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said Tuesday.

The first issue, six-year bonds, was valued at $600 million with 5.8 percent interest, while a 12-year offering was valued at $800 million with 6.7 percent interest.

The minister said the eurobonds were 35 percent oversubscribed, stressing the yields on these sovereign bonds were lower than the previous issues. He also addressed the controversy brewing over the public sector wage hike, saying the adjustment should be done in a way that does not harm the economy.

“I want to approve the salary scale but I want to make sure that it does not impact low-income citizens,” he said.

Khalil said the growth rate in Lebanon was expected to reach 2 percent in 2014.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 30, 2014, on page 5.




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