Lebanese finance minister hopes political deal will improve economy

Lebanon's finance minister said Thursday that he hoped the breakthrough deal on ending the country's political crisis would have a positive effect on the economy and attract foreign investment. Finance Minister Jihad Azour said the effect of Wednesday's agreement in Qatar had been felt immediately, with stocks and bonds rising on the Beirut stock exchange. Azour told The Associated Press that he expected the Lebanese economy to grow much faster in 2008 than the 4 percent projected before the deal between the government and the opposition was reached.