Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh said Tuesday that the prices of Lebanese sovereign Eurobonds picked up again following the formation of the new Cabinet.
“Lebanon has overcome the difficulties of 2018, and calm has returned to our markets after the formation of the government. We have seen a rise in the prices of Eurobonds which returned to the levels of 9.5 percent, and the cost of insurance for a period of five years dropped to 7 percent after it had risen to 9 percent,” Salameh said in the opening of the World Exchange Congress organized by the Capital Market Authority.
He added that the CMA is ready to translate the initiatives into tangible results and to support the financial sector and the knowledge sector.
The prices of Eurobonds fell sharply before the formation of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, reflecting the deep concern of investors about the state of the Lebanese economy in the absence of a government.
But despite the improvement in the prices of Eurobonds, investors and financial companies will closely monitor the performance of the Cabinet and the implementation of reforms which are long overdue.
The governor said that within the framework of international cooperation as well, the CMA has completed its efforts to strengthen relations with the regional and international regulatory bodies.
“Lebanon joined the IOSCO (The International Organization of Securities Commissions) as an associate member. The CMA also signed with local, regional and international bodies (French, Russian, German, Cypriot and Emirati, Omani, Tunisian, Egyptian and Qatari), which are aimed at identifying coordination technical assistance,” Salameh said
The governor stressed that BDL is awaiting a decision by the Cabinet to privatize Beirut bourse.
“At the local level, and on the basis of the law, we are waiting for the Lebanese government to approve the privatization of the Beirut Stock Exchange. The most important elements for the development of capital markets are the presence of an active stock exchange, in which the supply and demand of financial instruments are transparent and continuous, with clear rules and regulations designed to reduce the risk of price manipulation,” Salameh said.
With only 10 companies and banks listed on the BSE, the bourse did witness major and radical changes and improvements since it was reactivated after the end of the Civil War.
The conference is an international platform that brought together representatives of major International exchanges, financial market bodies, clearing houses, digital specialists, prominent economic and banking officials to discuss the latest technologies and global trends in the financial markets.
The conference focuses on the importance of modernizing the trading platform and keeping up with latest trends in the market.
The conference will also focus on the role of financial markets and their impact on economic growth and the challenges faced by the development of settlement systems, payment, data service and new technological innovations Fintech.