IMF Bailout May Be Half What Lebanon Sought When Talks Began

Lebanon may only count on the International Monetary Fund for as little as half the bailout it had originally sought to help unlock other assistance the country critically needs to bridge the crisis, according to a top official, Bloomberg News reported. With talks over a $10 billion loan program stalling for much of this month, the IMF could provide an amount in a range of $5 billion to $9 billion, Economy Minister Raoul Nehme said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Although Lebanon’s economic collapse is accelerating, Nehme gave no time frame for when a deal might be reached. Should negotiations succeed, Lebanon will look to cover the rest of its $30 billion in total needs by seeking help from allies and capitalizing on pledges of about $11 billion made by international donors in 2018 in exchange for a promise of reforms, according to Nehme, a 64-year-old former banking executive. Read more