Khalil Presses for Reforms after Moody's Report

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil says that the Moody's Investors Service report that downgraded the Lebanon’s status shows the urgency of forming a new Cabinet and implementing economic reforms.

Khalil's comments Friday came a day after Moody's changed Lebanon's government issuer ratings outlook from stable to negative and assigned it the rating of B3.

Lebanon's economy has been under pressure for years from the war in neighboring Syria, a debt of $85 billion equal to 150 percent of its GDP and little growth.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has not been able to form a Cabinet since May's parliamentary elections because of political disagreements.

"The B3 rating reflects Moody's assumption that a government will be formed in the near term and will implement some fiscal consolidation," said Moody's report.

Source: Associated Press, Naharnet

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