Bank of Lebanon
|Bank of Lebanon (Banque du Liban)|
|Key People||Governor Riad Salamé|
The Bank of Lebanon (BofL) and its long-serving governor, Riad Salamé, have recently been celebrated for the stability of its currency and its interest rate policies amid the recent global financial turmoil. The BofL, or Banque du Liban in its home country, recently lifted its economic growth rate forecast for Lebanon in 2009 to 6% despite fears of political uncertainty.
The Bank of Lebanon was established in 1964 as Lebanon's central bank after its governing mandate, the Code of Money and Credit, was passed by the Lebanese parliament a year earlier when the government's commission to issue the Lebanese pound ended. BofL is today run by the governor, appointed for renewable six-year terms, and four vice-governors who serve five-tear terms. The BofL's Central Council sets its monetary policies and consists of the governor as chair plus four the vice-governors, the Director General of the Ministry of Finance and the Director General of Economy and Trade.
Celebrated Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salamé was first appointed to the position by since-assissinated Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 1993 after a 20-year stint in Beirut and Paris at Merrill Lynch. Under his rule at the BofL the Lebanese banking sector has grown more than ten times to its current US$91 billion and he has received numerous awards from the global financial media for his financial acumen. He has most recently been hailed for his 2005 shunning of mortgage-backed securities long before their market collapse in 2007.
Bank of Lebanon recently lifted its estimate of the country's economic growth rate for 2009 from 4% to 6% on expectations that Lebanon and its expatriates had escaped the worst of the recent global financial crisis. Governor Salamé said such forecasts depended on the smooth running of national elections due in June 2009 and the subsequently installation of a stable government. The International Monetary Fund, by contrast, estimates annual growth for Lebanon in 2009 at 3%.