BEIRUT: The Cedar Oxygen Fund, initiated and anchored by the central bank, is expected to launch in the coming days with the aim of providing short term facilities to Lebanese industrialists, importers and exporters.
The fund will be based out of Paris, France and offer credit facilities to Lebanese importers and exporters in cooperation with local Lebanese banks as well as the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and Ministry of Industry.
The Fintech platform will allocate $175 million to "devise vital and immediate solutions that secure industrial financing for Lebanese manufacturing companies," a statement issued by the central bank said.
"We are all unfortunately aware that access to hard currencies and international payment facilities has become very limited due to the difficulties faced by the government and the economy," the central added.
Lebanon is currently reeling under the burden of its worst economic and financial crisis in its history, with dollar liquidity almost drying up completely. Businesses from across the spectrum have been forced to revert to the black market to sustain their operations.
The fund will work in partnership with some of Lebanon's banks to identify Lebanese industrialists who are eligible for financing according to the Cedar Oxygen Fund's standards. This includes investment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
The fund anaged in accordance "with good governance procedures that foster investment tools regulated by the law in Luxembourg." the statement added. It will also be based on investment and risk management standards designed specifically to generate sufficient returns for investors while protecting their capital.
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