The Lebanese government's efforts to stabilise the country's finances were rewarded on 18 December, when US credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) revised its ratings outlook to stable from negative. The B- long term and C short term foreign currency ratings were affirmed. S&P said that the change reflected the government's commitment to reducing its huge public debt and the recent boost to this commitment provided by the $4,400 million pledged at the Paris II donors conference in November. On 11 December, Lebanon's commercial banks agreed to subscribe to $4,000 million in interest-free government bonds, in a move expected to reduce debt servicing costs by about $400 million. US-based ratings agency Moody's Investor Servicesis also giving positive signals, telling the local Daily Star on 17 December that the outlook for Lebanon was good, but that it would not review ratings until the Paris II money actually came through.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on 18 December that it would give Lebanon about $40 million in aid over the next three years, to be targeted at the agriculture, tourism and IT sectors.