Bank of Lebanon (Officially ) BDL () is the central bank of Lebanon. It was established on August 1, 1963 and became fully operational on April 1, 1964. It is currently headed by Riad Salameh, who was named the Middle East’s best central bank governor by Euromoney in 2005. One of the main responsibilities of the bank is issuing Lebanon’s currency, the Lebanese Pound. Other responsibilities include maintaining monetary stability, regulation of money transfers, and maintaining the soundness of the banking sector. Banking is a very important part of Lebanon’s economy with over 100 different banks, which makes the role of Banque du Liban particularly important. It currently owns 99.37% of the shares of Lebanon’s national carrier, Middle East Airlines. However, plans call for it to sell its stake in the airline by 2008 as part of government plans to privatize many institutions. The government has recently launched an ambitious 5-year economic reform program in hopes to cut the country’s debt. The outcome of the reform program will largely be dependent on Banque du Liban. Besides the main branch in Beirut, it has branches in Aley, Baalbeck, Bikfaya, Jounieh, Nabatiye, Sidon, Tripoli, Tyre, and Zahlé.