Banks get pressed on Beirut by activists

Major Wall Street and European financial firms are coming under pressure to dump their holdings in Lebanese debt and securities from activists who charge that Iran, Syria and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah are using Beirut’s banking system to launder money and evade international sanctions.

The campaign—which is being led by New York-based United Against Nuclear Iran, or UANI—could threaten Beirut’s financial sector, traditionally among the Middle East’s most important and vibrant.

Lebanon’s banking sector historically accounts for around 35% of the country’s total economic output. The U.S. Treasury also has intensified its scrutiny of Lebanon’s banks in recent months.

The Iranian and Syrian backed Hezbollah currently dominates the government of PM Nagib Mikati.

The Lebanese economy has suffered greatly as a result of the pro- democracy uprising in Syria. Several Gulf currencies issued travel advisories warning their citizens against travel to Lebanon.

WSJ

  • 5thDrawer

    DAMN ALL ACTIVISTS
    Basically, propaganda-pushers. If they want to publish their thoughts to try to sway individuals to a ’cause’ that’s one thing. To try to force their thinking to effect whole groups of unrelated people to suffer for the sake of it is another. Nastyrallah has affected Lebanon in this way … the world thinks all Lebanese are terrorists now.
    ‘United Against Nuclear’ is a MUCH better concept … but idiot activists are being used by adding the word ‘Iran’.
    One hopes the ‘financial firms’ can stand firm against dumping on more people … they have created enough problems in the world already with their poor policies and governance, after all.

  • 5thDrawer

    DAMN ALL ACTIVISTS