Source: The Daily Star | 08 February 2017 | Country: Beirut,Lebanon

Torbey calls for renewal of Salameh’s term - 8 February, 2017

Torbey calls for renewal of Salameh’s term - 8 February, 2017

Demand for the renewal of Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh’s term picked up momentum Tuesday when the head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon underlined the importance of keeping the governor in his post.
“The banking sector pins utmost hope for the continuation of the monetary policy and express wishes that governor Salameh remains in his post to guarantee the success of the stability which he achieved on the monetary and financial levels. What are more important, are the governor’s relations with international circles that he built over the past years,” Joseph Torbey told the general assembly of ABL.
In principle, Salameh’s term ends in August 2017 and the Cabinet usually discusses whether or not to renew the governor’s term during the session.
Salameh assumed office in August 1993, a volatile year in Lebanon and at a time when the Lebanese pound depreciated in value against the U.S. dollar and other foreign currencies.
The governor was credited for stabilizing the pound, reducing inflation, beefing up the BDL’s foreign currency reserves and regulating the banking sector.
All of the successive governments have renewed the term of Salameh to send a positive signal to the local market and international investors.
It is unlikely that Salameh’s term of renewal will be blocked by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri despite some claims that some political blocs may call for the appointment of a new candidate.
Torbey said that Lebanon is in great need for the renewal of the governor’s term amid growing risks surrounding the region.
He also touched on economic and financial matters in Lebanon.
Torbey hoped that the era of President Michel Aoun would put the country on the right track to achieve success and prosperity.
He reiterated calls for the implementation of administrative reforms, combating corruption, speeding up the oil and gas file, reducing expenditures and improving tax collection.
But Torbey urged the government not to impose new taxes.
He reminded that the banking sector played a pivotal role in financing the needs of the Lebanese state.
Torbey also hailed the incentive packages launched by the Central Bank to stimulate the economy.
He repeated the banking sector will continue to serve the economy and its society.
“Banks have maintained the trust in this sector at a time when the country experienced presidential vacuum, paralysis in the institutions, security turmoil and a drop in the GDP growth,” he added.


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