Bank Audi. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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A leading bank called Thursday on Lebanese politicians to make concessions and focus on crucial economic and financial matters for the welfare of the country.Audi noticed that over the past months the regional political-security turmoil accentuated further with adverse spillover effects on the Lebanese economy, especially because political bickering in Lebanon intensified even further amid a quasi-paralysis of the different constitutional bodies of the state.It warned that such a situation adversely impacted Lebanon's real economy, with most real sector indicators on the decline in the first nine months of 2015, suggesting the economy is not growing or is barely growing this year.Audi reminded that the IMF revised real GDP growth downward to 2 percent for 2015 while Lebanon's Central Bank estimates growth would approximate 0 percent this year, the lowest in almost a decade in the country. It added that Lebanese banks have foreign currency liquidity representing today 43 percent of foreign currency deposits (the equivalent of $42 billion), one of the highest ratios in peer markets, against a regional average of 22 percent and an emerging markets average of 21.9 percent.At the indebtedness level, Lebanon has seen its debt ratio decline from 185 percent in 2006 to 134 percent in 2011, which has almost stabilized since then, displaying 129 percent today.
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