Lebanon Lawmakers Say Government Shouldn’t Default on Local Debt

Lebanese lawmakers urged the government to avoid a default on its local-currency debt and asked it to reevaluate central bank liabilities to help secure a critical bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg News reported. Member of parliament Ibrahim Kanaan said Wednesday that the IMF held a meeting with lawmakers earlier this month and told them Lebanon faces a choice of “no reform, no program” -- referring to the $10 billion loan the government is trying to negotiate with the Washington-based lender. The government in March defaulted on a Eurobond for the first time in its history and is now seeking assistance to help implement fiscal reforms, including the restructuring of both local and foreign debt. It drafted a rescue plan that showed the financial sector had incurred massive losses, an assessment that came under heavy scrutiny from local lenders and the central bank. Read more