Lebanon crisis

Lebanon receives $1.139 bln from International Monetary Fund: Statement

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Lebanon’s Finance Ministry said on Friday it had been informed by the Central Bank that $1.139 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the International Monetary Fund had been deposited in its account.

The ministry had announced it would receive the allocation of the IMF’s reserve currency earlier this week.

The Lebanese pound has strengthened from around 19,000 per dollar since Mikati took office, ending a year of political conflict over cabinet seats that left Lebanon rudderless.

The IMF has recommended Lebanon unify the multiple exchange rates along with other steps including the central bank audit.

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Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, formerly a senior central bank official, signed the contract with A&M, which the ministry said would present an initial report within 12 weeks of its team starting work.

A&M withdrew from the audit last November, saying it had not received the information it required. The finance ministry said in April the central bank had agreed to hand over required documents.

Parliament then agreed in December to lift banking secrecy for one year, amid much back-and-forth between officials including the finance ministry and the central bank over whether certain information could be disclosed.

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