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Lebanon: Central Bank to Discuss Forensic Audit with Alvarez & Marsal

Lebanon: Central Bank to Discuss Forensic Audit with Alvarez & Marsal

Thursday, 1 April, 2021 - 11:15
A view of Lebanon's Central Bank building in Beirut. Reuters file photo

Lebanon's central bank is ready to facilitate a forensic audit process by Alvarez & Marsal and will discuss this in a virtual meeting with the restructuring company on April 6, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Alvarez & Marsal pulled out of the audit procedure in November, saying it had not received the information it required, prompting parliament in December to lift banking secrecy for one year.

The audit is on a list of reforms that foreign donors have demanded before helping Lebanon out of its grave financial crisis, rooted in decades of state waste and corruption.

Last year French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a road map to break the political stalemate in the former French protectorate. Macron has been pressing Lebanese politicians to form a cabinet made up of non-partisan specialists that can work on urgent reforms to extract Lebanon from the financial crisis worsened by the Aug. 4 explosion that devastated Beirut.

Those efforts have led to nowhere as Lebanon’s politicians continue to bicker about the shape and size of a new cabinet while the country is mired in the worst economic crisis in its modern history — a situation exacerbated by pandemic restrictions.

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