Delivering the opening remarks for the 22nd Arab Economic Forum held on the 19th of June 2014 at the Phoenicia Hotel, H.E. CMA Chairman Mr. Riad Salameh addressed the importance of capital markets in creating long-term financing for the private sector, given that the levels of private debt in the economy had reached unprecedented levels thus limiting investment opportunities that could be financed by banks, which in turn might have an adverse impact on the economy. According to Mr. Salameh, the proper development and regulation of capital markets will ensure transparency in the markets, which ultimately provides an attractive climate for investments in financial instruments, and helps create liquid and efficient markets able to issue and trade in corporate bonds and securitize consumer loans, revealing that “this will limit the effects of excess private sector debt exposure from its current levels of almost 100% of GDP.”
In his final remarks, Governor Salameh called upon the Government to commence the process of privatizing the Beirut Stock exchange as stipulated in law 161/2011, which would render the BSE more efficient in attracting local and regional companies to enlist. Finally, Chairman Salameh confirmed that the international sentiment over the Lebanese economy remains positive as perceived in the healthy demand on sovereign debt in international bond markets, reiterating that Banque du Liban (BDL) stands ready to provide the Lebanese government and the markets with adequate liquidity in all currencies, when needed.