5-Oct-2010 12:27 PM

Middle East Airlines delays IPO

Lebanon's Government announced it will delay the IPO of Middle East Airlines (MEA) due to “unfavourable market conditions” (Bloomberg, 07-Sep-2010). The Government stated there is no “appetite” for investment, and attributed the poor conditions to the Greek debt crisis and its impact on European economies, a drop in oil prices and the weak performance of Arab stock exchanges as reasons for the delay. Six banks have expressed an interest in managing the sale of MEA, which is owned by Lebanon’s Central Bank. Previous efforts to privatise the airline have been thwarted by the global financial crisis, internal political upheaval and a conflict with Israel in 2006.