UANI Applauds Erste-Sparinvest for Divesting from Lebanon's Iranian-Influenced Bond Market

July 11, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, [email protected]
Phone: (212) 554-3296

UANI Applauds Erste-Sparinvest for Divesting from Lebanon's Iranian-Influenced Bond Market

New York, NY - On Wednesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded the Austrian investment firm, Erste-Sparinvest KAG (Erste-Sparinvest), for divesting from Lebanese debt securities in response to UANI's campaign regarding the influence Iran holds over the Lebanese banking system.

UANI wrote to Erste-Sparinvest on May 28, 2012, presenting UANI's research on the Lebanese banking system, and calling for Erste-Sparinvest to "divest from all Lebanese sovereign backed debt securities."

In response, Erste-Sparinvest contacted UANI, stating that "We came to the conclusion to divest our holdings in Lebanese bonds and therefore we will follow your recommendation."

UANI accepts Erste-Sparinvest's statement, and will list the firm as having divested from Lebanese debt securities.

Said UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace:

We applaud Erste-Sparinvest for quickly divesting from Lebanese bonds. All firms should divest from Lebanese sovereign backed securities given the nefarious role Hizballah and Iran play in such securities.

The Lebanese banking system is simply not credible. UANI's data and findings clearly show that it is controlled by Hizballah, and illicitly used by Iran. The Lebanese Central Bank and the Lebanese banking system receive massive Hizballah/Iran financing, and use such money as a deposit base that is the foundational and fraudulent support for the greater Lebanese economy, Lebanese sovereign-backed securities, and the credit default swaps (CDS) that insure those securities.

Without the illicit Hizballah and Iranian monies flowing into Lebanon, Lebanese banks would be unable to purchase Lebanese sovereign debt. Without such purchases, Lebanese sovereign debt (and premiums on the CDS) would reflect the true realities of the dire politics of Lebanon and the enormous Lebanese debt-to-GDP ratio, which is the 4th highest in the world.  Outside firms that trade such debt legitimize these fraudulent securities. No legitimate firm should trade in Lebanese sovereign backed securities.

Last week, UANI announced the results of a three month-long investigation into the influence of Iran and Hizballah in the Lebanese banking system (LBS) and Lebanon's sovereign bond market, and announced a campaign to compel legitimate financial institutions into divesting from Lebanon's bond market.

UANI research and analysis, made public for the first time, revealed the existence of a state-sponsored Lebanese money laundering scheme involving Lebanon's Central Bank--Banque du Liban (BDL)--and the LBS under the direction and influence of Iran and Hizballah.  Lebanon has employed a state-sponsored money laundering scheme to "wash" Iranian and Hizballah illicit monies, in order to artificially and fraudulently support Lebanese debt securities. 

Click here to read UANI's May 28 letter to Erste-Sparinvest.
Click here to call on the U.S. Government to Sanction the Lebanese Banking System and for Bond Holders and Credit Agencies to end Lebanon Business.