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Qatari Gift Still a Mystery But Lebanese Search for Cash Goes On

  • Khoury ‘hopes’ reports of Qatar’s $1 billion deposit are true
  • Qatar ruler was one of few leaders to attend summit in Beirut
Hookah pipes stand outside an empty store for rent at the Solidere shopping district in Beirut. 

Hookah pipes stand outside an empty store for rent at the Solidere shopping district in Beirut. 

Photographer: Sima Diab/Bloomberg
Updated on

The ruler of one of the wealthiest nations in the world barely spent a few hours in Lebanon but he left much trepidation, hope and confusion in his wake.

An Arab economic summit opened in Beirut with a report in local media on Sunday that Qatar is prepared to deposit $1 billion with the Lebanese central bank. If true, it could be just the cash infusion Lebanon’s tottering economy needs to reassure bond holders still reeling from mixed remarks by officials about the possibility of debt restructuring.