Lebanon puts plan on hold
THE Lebanese Government has postponed its plan to raise US$300 million for rebuilding Beirut by issuing Eurobonds, in the hope of obtaining more favourable terms next year.
The country's first Eurobond offering was due by the end of this year, but has been delayed to March or April, Fouad Siniora, the Finance Minister said.
He refused to explain the delay, other than saying there was no immediate need for the money.
The projects to be financed by the issue - the rehabilitation of Beirut's mainly Shi'ite southern suburbs and a road network - were not ready to go ahead.
But market analysts believe the issue was postponed so the Government could assess the reception of the US$650 million equity offering of Solidere, a US$1.8 billion property company set up to rebuild the centre of Beirut, which closes on January 10.
The delay will also give time for a potential breakthrough in the peace talks with Israel.