February 12, 2020 / 2:52 PM / in 11 days

UPDATE 1-Lebanon creditors form "informal discussion group" as debt crunch looms

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By Marc Jones

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A group of Lebanon’s international creditors have organised an “informal discussion group” as the country’s debt situation continues to deteriorate, two of the firms involved, Greylock Capital and Mangart Advisors, said on Wednesday.

The group is to “begin evaluating options for how lenders will manage the developing situation in Lebanon,” a statement from the two firms said.

“This group will facilitate communication between disparate creditors and stands by to engage with the Lebanese Republic in any discussions.”

Lebanon is one of the world’s most indebted states with a public debt-to-GDP ratio of 150%. Its new government, which took office last month, is under growing pressure to tackle the debt burden and must quickly decide what to do with a $1.2 billion Eurobond that is due for repayment in March.

With urgency growing, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday the country would ask the International Monetary Fund for ‘technical’ help with its plan to escape financial collapse, including how to restructure its debts.

Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Karin Strohecker and Catherine Evans

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