Arab Economic Forum. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Lebanon's Central Bank will funnel more stimulus to key sectors to prop up the country's economy, Riad Salameh said Thursday.The Central Bank's governor confirmed that it would launch new incentives in the future in a bid to increase investment in the knowledge-economy sector, which attracted no less than $250 million from Lebanese banks since the 2014 launch of a program to fund startups. In 2014, the Central Bank issued Circular 331 aimed at securing funds for local startups.These loans are 75 percent guaranteed by the Central Bank for local banks, equity investment accelerators, incubators, funds and startups.Salameh said that the Central Bank also recently launched new loans guarantees amounting to $100 million for the arts and movie production with an interest rate of 1 percent, allowing Lebanese banks to lend this money to Lebanese producers at low rates.Salameh said that Lebanese banks' deposits are expected to grow by 4.5 percent to 5 percent in 2016 .
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