14 August 2007

INDICATORS - Lebanon - Updated Aug 14

 BEIRUT, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Below is a table of the latest Lebanese economic statistics. Figures are provided by the central bank, finance ministry and ratings agencies.

-----------------------LEBANESE POUND----------------------

EXCHANGE RATE BETWEEN BANKS - 1,507.5 pounds to the dollar

-----------------------KEY INTEREST RATES------------------

T-bill weekly rates
(Aug 9 auction)
Term Discount Yield
(percent) (percent)
12 months 7.19 7.75

Coupon interest rate
24 months 8.50
36 months 9.32

Central bank CD rates (percent)
45 days....04.40
60 days....04.89
182 days...-----
364 days...-----

-------------------ECONOMIC INDICATORS----------------------
(All figures US $ million unless otherwise stated)
Balance of payments
Monthly Nov 06 June 06 April 06 March 06 Feb 06
               +18.8     +758.8   +309.5      -38.1    +497.6
To Nov 2006 +2,963.7
Total 2005 +747.2
Total 2004 +168.5
Total 2003 +3,386
Total 2002 +1,564
Total 2001 -1,169
Total 2000 -289.1

Merchandise trade
                                   Nov 06      June 06      Apr 06      Mar 06      Feb 06
Monthly Imports     983.6        877.6           848.9        939.7          767.7
Monthly Exports     221.1         269.4         230.4         205.6         167.4
Trade Balance         -762.5       -608.2       -618.5       -734.1        -576.2

Gross foreign currency reserves (billions of U.S. dollars)
July 07     Jun 07     May 07     April 07     March 07     Feb 07     Jan 07
12.89        12.60       12.56        12.79           12.56            13.07        13.05

Dollarisation (proportion of dollar
deposits out of
total deposits at commercial banks)

June 06    May 06    April 06    March 06    Feb 06    Jan 06    June 05
72.8%          72.7%      72.62%      72.6%         72.3%      72.5%     74.51%

Net public debt
                                    June 06    May 06    April 06    March 06     June 05

Foreign debt ($bln) 19.879       19.93        20             19.28            18.30
Net domestic debt    23.67        23.23       23.02        24.14            22.59
(Lebanese pounds, trillions)

Money supply (Lebanese pounds billions)
          Jan 07    Dec 06    Nov 06    Oct 06 Dec 05
- M1 3,167       3,322      3,348        3,246    2,952
- M2 23,219    23,477    24,176      24,615   24,464
- M3 80,192   80,244    79,536     78,893    74,446
- M4 84,740   84,545    83,728     83,438    77,777

(M1 = currency in circulation plus demand deposits, M2 = M1 plus other deposits in Lebanese pounds, M3 = M2 plus foreign currency deposits, M4 = M3 plus treasury bills held by the non-banking system)

Coincident indicator

Nov 06     Oct 06    Sept 06    Aug 06     July 06     June 06     Nov 05

180.8        163.7       157.1        119.8         141.3        191.6          173.9

(100 = January 1993)

Budget deficit (in billions of Lebanese pounds)

                       Sept 06       Aug 06       June 06       May 06     Sept 05
Expenditure 1,040.404  1,168.228   853.729       767.854    813.932
Revenue       354.433      343.736      390.293      851.538    497.207
Deficit           -685.971     -824.492   -463.436     83.684      -316.725
Deficit %      -65.93         -70.58        -54.28         +10.9        -38.91

Year-to-date% Pvs full year%
                 -36              -27.42
T-bill weekly subscriptions (in billions of pounds)
(Aug 9 auction)

Term Yields (pct) Face Value Purchase Value
3 months 5.22           17.874            17.645
6 months 7.24             331.923        320.339
Subscriptions over maturities: -63.729

---------------LONG TERM CREDIT RATINGS----------------
Rating Outlook
Standard & Poor's B minus negative
Fitch B minus (foreign and local debt) stable
Moody's B3 (foreign) B3 (local) stable

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.