Lebanon PM Diab says government can’t pay its debt, suspends March bond payment

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun heads a financial meeting with Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Lebanon's Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, March 7, 2020. (Reuters)

Lebanon will not pay a $1.2 billion Eurobond due on March 9 as its foreign currency reserves have hit critical levels and are needed to meet the basic needs of the Lebanese people, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Saturday.

In a televised address, Diab said Lebanon was not able to pay maturing debt in the "current circumstances" and would work to restructure its debt through negotiations with bondholders.

Diab said Lebanon's public debt had reached more than 170 percent of gross domestic product, meaning the country was close to being the world's most heavily indebted state.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02