On the first day of the new year, the black-market exchange rate ranged between 27,600 Lebanese pounds for purchase and 27,650 Lebanese pounds to one dollarfor sale.
The Lebanese pound has lost more than 93 percent of its value since summer 2019, when it began breaking away from the exchange rate of 1,500 LBP to the dollar, which has been pegged since 1997.
Three weeks ago, Lebanon’s Central Bank had set a new rate of 8,000 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar for withdrawals from bank deposits denominated in dollars but which can now only be accessed in the local currency.
The rate was previously set at 3,900 pounds, which implied a “haircut” or loss of more than 80 percent at the current market rate of around 25,000 pounds per dollar. The new rate represents a haircut of around 70 percent.
The exchange rate of the dollar in the Central Bank of Lebanon remains at 1507.5 pounds per dollar.