Lebanese banks that can't increase capital must leave market - governor to Reuters

BEIRUT, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Lebanese banks that cannot increase their capital by 20% by the end of February 2021 will have to get out of the market, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh told Reuters on Thursday.

Those leaving would do so by giving their shares to the central bank and deposits would be preserved because there would be no “bankruptcy situation,” Salameh said. He said he could not speculate how many banks would exit the market.

The central bank’s foreign currency reserves stand at $19.5 billion and obligatory reserve at $17.5 billion, he said.

Salameh added that he could not say how long the central bank could keep subsidising essential imports and that Lebanon was “not about to float the currency.” (Reporting by Beirut bureau, Writing by Ellen Francis Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)