The interest rate subsidies granted by the central bank to 60 percent of lending sectors in July and September of 2009 have been extended until June 2011. The original circulars lowered the reserve requirements, which Lebanese banks were previously required to keep at the central bank at zero percent interest, allowing banks to lend in Lebanese lira at more attractive rates. The loans subsequently offered brought lira lending rates down from above 9 percent to around 5 percent. The extension will allow banks to maintain these rates on loans processed until June 2011. These interest rate subsidies covered mostly personal loans for cars, homes and education and are an addition to the interest rate subsidies put in effect in 1997, which benefit the industrial, tourism, agriculture and technology sectors of the economy. At end-June 2009, the 1997 interest rate subsidies had resulted in $2.55 billion in new 2009 lending.