Beirut explosion: Lebanon central bank confirms 0 pct interest loans for recovery

A damaged building in Beirut. (File photo: Reuters)

Lebanon's central bank confirmed on Thursday earlier reports that it has instructed banks and financial institutions to extend exceptional dollar loans at zero interest to individuals and firms impacted by the Beirut port explosion, which killed at least 137 people and injured thousands.

The bank issued a statement on Thursday that said Lebanese banks should issue exceptional loans at zero percent interest, regardless of customer account limits and to be paid back over five years, to anyone seeking to rebuild their house or business in the country.

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It added that the loans can be repaid in Lebanese pounds based on the interbank rate of 1,515 pounds to the dollar, a peg which has long since slipped.

Money transfer houses should distribute transfers from abroad to Lebanon in dollars, the central bank said separately.

The statement confirmed earlier reports from social media.

CNBC's Hadley Gamble had also said that the recovery package would include the central bank selling dollars to any importers of aluminum, wood, or glass – vital for rebuilding the shattered city – at a rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds per US dollar.

With Reuters.

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Last Update: Thursday, 06 August 2020 KSA 15:24 - GMT 12:24
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