Time to Talk About Lebanese Debt Restructuring for Templeton

Lebanon should consider a voluntary debt restructuring to avert a financial crisis despite pledges of aid from Gulf benefactors, according to Franklin Templeton Investments, which manages $650 billion in assets worldwide, Bloomberg News reported. A debt overhaul needs to be part of a reform program backed by lenders such as the International Monetary Fund, said Mohieddine Kronfol, the firm’s chief investment officer for global sukuk and Middle East and North Africa fixed income. Even better if that’s accompanied by a change in leadership at the Finance Ministry and the central bank, he said in an interview in Dubai. “My biggest worry is that the runway is getting shorter,” Kronfol said. “The medium-term challenges and the need to create fiscal space through a voluntary debt restructuring or re-profiling remain, as does a multi-lateral backstop to provide credibility for an inevitable structural reform agenda.” Read more