Lebanon aims to turn Beirut bourse into joint-stock company
Personal rivalries have brought policy-making to a virtual standstill in Lebanon
Lebanon’s finance minister has asked the government to approve a plan to convert the Beirut stock exchange into a joint-stock company as a first step towards privatizing the bourse, his office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Personal rivalries have brought policy-making to a virtual standstill in Lebanon, meaning that Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil’s request is unlikely to be fulfilled quickly.
Khalil seeks the conversion of the bourse, now a government entity, into a joint-stock company called Beirut Stock Exchange SAL, the statement said. Such conversions are a common first step taken by exchanges looking to privatize.
The statement referred to a 2012 law that said the conversion should have taken place a year after it was passed. A year after this, stock in the company was supposed to be offered to investors.
Development plans are often delayed in Lebanon due to political gridlock. The government has most recently been dealing with large street protests over a waste disposal crisis.