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Lebanon receives $298 million in reserves from IMF program.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: <p>Lebanon received the equivalent of $298 million in foreign currency reserves on September 9 from a new program established by the International Monetary Fund, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.AaThe IMF injected $250 billion in the global economy on August 28 and another $33 billion on September 9 to bolster countries' reserves.

BEIRUT: Lebanon received the equivalent of $298 million in foreign currency reserves on September 9 from a new program established by the International Monetary Fund, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.AaThe IMF injected $250 billion in the global economy on August 28 and another $33 billion on September 9 to bolster countries' reserves as part of wider measures to combat the world economic crisis. It said about $110 billion in combined allocations will go to emerging markets and developing countries.Aa

It added that the funding took place through the allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to IMF members that are participants in the SDRs Department in proportion to their existing quotas in the fund, which are based broadly on their relative size in the global economy.Aa

The operation will increase each country's allocation of SDRs by approximately 74 percent of its quota, and raise fund members' total allocation to about $316 billion from nearly $33 billion.Aa

The IMF said SDRs allocated to members will count towards their reserve assets, acting as a low cost liquidity buffer for developing economies. SDRs are defined in terms of a basket of major currencies used in international trade and finance.Aa

The US dollar accounts for 44 percent of the currency basket, followed by the euro with 34 percent, and the pound sterling and the Japanese yen with 11 percent each. The IMF uses SDRs as a unit of account that is calculated daily and that members can convert into other currencies.Aa

Lebanon had SDR 4.39 million in allocations prior to August 28. Following the IMF's decision, Lebanon's allocations will increase by a total of SDR 189 million, of which SDR 150.5 million in general allocations effective August 28 and SDR 38.4 million in special allocations effective September 9th.Aa

Based on the SDR rate as at September 10, Lebanon's new cumulative allocations stand at $304.8 million, of which $298 million in new allocations that included $237.3 million distributed on August 28 and $60.6 million on September 9.Aa

As a result of the new allocations, Lebanon ranked 90th place among 186 countries and 15th among 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of cumulative Special Drawing Rights, roughly in line with its global ranking in terms of nominal GDP. Lebanon also came in 19th place among 37 upper-middle income countries (UMICs). Globally, Lebanon ranked ahead of Tanzania, Cameroon and Uganda and came behind Sudan, Guatemala and Brunei.Aa

The Central Bank of Lebanon's gross foreign currency reserves reached a record $22 billion at the end of July, while its assets in foreign currencies totaled $25 billion at the end of August . -- The Daily Star

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:0IMF
Date:Sep 14, 2009
Words:548
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