File - The Finance Ministry in Riad al-Solh Square, Beirut (The Daily Star)
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Lebanese banks made at least a $1 billion "windfall" from a recent bond swap engineered by the Central Bank in collaboration with the Finance Ministry, according to a leading U.S. bank.According to the report, in May, the Central Bank engineered a debt swap with the Finance Ministry whereby the Central Bank received around $2 billion in three privately placed eurobonds in exchange for an equivalent amount in Lebanese-denominated debt. The Central Bank then sold these eurobonds along with other securities to local banks while buying back banks' Lebanese-denominated debt at face value. Citi stressed that this transaction will boost the balance sheets of the Lebanese banks.
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