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23 | Aug 2013

Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said the country will introduce measures to encourage startup companies in a bid to spur economic growth amid political instability.


Under the changes, to be announced this month, banks will be allowed to invest as much as 3% of their own funds in startup companies. The central bank will provide banks with interest-free credit lines for the projects. This will not be a debt investment but a capital investment with a system in place that will cover the risks of start-ups investments to up to 75%.


The stimulus package will be the second the central bank has introduced this year. The central bank in January provided USD 1.35 billion to banks at 1% interest rate to boost lending for new businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, housing and the renewable energy industry.


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