Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Monday, June 13, 2016

HEZBOLLAH, SEEKING TO AVOID THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIFPA, BLOWS UP BEIRUT BANK


If you were looking for that first overt display of anger, from Hezbollah, to try to persuade Lebanese banks from following the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act, look no further, A bomb exploded on Sunday, outside the front entrance to Blom Bank, in Beirut's financial district, injuring two, and causing major damage to the windows and facade.

The chief of Lebanese Internal Security Forces was quoted as stating that Hezbollah was behind the attack, which took place at 8:00 PM, when most people were breaking their Ramadan fast, and the streets empty. Blom Bank, said to be the second largest bank in the country, by deposits, has been following the provisions of HIFPA, and closing accounts linked to Hezbollah.

If this is the first of a wave of bombings in Beirut, Country Risk for Lebanon; already elevated, due to Hezbollah's participation in the civil war in Syria, and warlike posturing against Israel, will skyrocket further. Israel is sensitive to the situation; there are media reports of a 48-hour battle simulation, recently conducted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), against Hezbollah.

 The Beirut financial center is an important part of the Lebanese economy, in a country with no significant exports, or natural resources; should it experience capital flight, due to a lack of confidence, on the part of foreign investors, the country will suffer.

Are you sure ?





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