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Livelihoods: Tightened restrictions on bank depositors, more shutdowns by Electricity of Lebanon


BLOM Invest economist, Ruba Shbair, noted yesterday that the PMI indicator during December 2019 recorded 45, meaning that the growth rate of the total real GDP is below zero. The decline in new businesses during the same month was key to the deterioration in the operating conditions of private sector companies. For his part, the head of Beirut International Chamber of Navigation, Elie Zakhour, warned of a drastic decline in maritime transport should banks continue to interrupt requests to open documentary credits for merchants and industrialists required to import goods and raw material, as well as prevent shipping agencies from transferring freight fees abroad. Similarly, the president of Mount Lebanon Traders Union, Nasib Gemayel, in an address to the Association of Banks in Lebanon, asked how can commercial institutions repay loans if they don’t operate properly, and appealed to save the sector. Noting, that the parliamentary economic committee was concurrently studying the possibility of an economic emergency draft bill.  On the other hand, the Judge of Urgent Matters in Nabatiyeh, Ahmad Mezher, ruled yesterday against Byblos Bank- Nabaytiyeh branch, requiring it to transfer the sum of USD 1,138,580 from the account of plaintiff, Majed abu Zeid, to his HSBC account in Dubai under penalty of a LBP 10 million fine for each day of delay. In a related development, the Electricity of Lebanon announced yesterday that it will have to continue taking the necessary precautionary measures to maintain the longest possible period of supplying power. Such precautions include the reduction of production consistent with the apportioned allocations from the government to the state-run institution. Currently, the reported volume of power feeding the electric network is only 1500 megawatts until next February. (Al Diyar, An Nahar, Al Akhbar, December 31, January 8, 2020)

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