By Davide Barbuscia
DUBAI, March 2 (Reuters) - The government of Lebanon has appointed four banks for an international bond issuance that will take place on March 20, a source at the ministry of finance and Lebanese banking sources said on Thursday.
Barclays , JP Morgan , Byblos Bank and Societe Generale de Banque au Liban (SGBL) have received a draft mandate to arrange the debt sale which will be made official over the next two days, the government source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is private.
The bond size will be a minimum of $1.5 billion and will be settled on March 20, when a $1.5 billion outstanding bond is due for redemption, the source said.
Lebanon's most recent international debt issuance was a $1 billion bond in April 2016, split between an April 2024 tranche and an April 2031 tranche.
In May last year the government increased the amount of its public debt by swapping local currency debt into $2 billion worth of Eurobonds.
Lebanon is rated B2 by Moody's, and B-minus by Standard & Poor's and Fitch.
(Editing by Jason Neely) ((Davide.Barbuscia@thomsonreuters.com;))