The Lebanese government aims to shave some 1 trillion Lebanese pounds ($660 million) from debt servicing costs in the draft 2019 state budget through issuing treasury bonds at an interest rate of 1%, the finance minister said on Saturday.
"This matter will happen through coordination between the finance ministry, the central bank and the banks after the budget approval to issue treasury bonds in Lebanese currency in the range of 11,000 billion Lebanese pounds at an interest rate of 1 percent," Ali Hassan Khalil told Reuters.
Khalil had earlier written on Twitter that the draft budget includes a reduction of around 1 trillion Lebanese pounds in debt servicing costs, without giving further details.
The Lebanese state draft budget for 2019 will have a deficit below 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) and it may be less than 8.5% of GDP, Khalil had told media reporters.
The deficit was 11.2% of GDP in 2018. Government discussions on the draft budget should be concluded on Sunday, Khalil was also cited as saying by the National News Agency in the discussion.