SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

Lebanon’s pound sees slight improvement amid cabinet formation talks

The Lebanese pound has seen a slight improvement against the U.S. dollar on the black market on Friday morning, amid talks about some steps taken in the process of forming a new government.

The pound is currently trading at 12,900/12,950 to the dollar, after the local currency’s rate plummeted to more than 13,000 yesterday.

In a move aiming to stabilize the U.S. dollar exchange rate on the black market, the Central Bank announced that the rate will be set at 12,000 Lebanese pounds under Sayrafa, an electronic platform that would allow commercial banks and licensed dealers to trade foreign currency at market rates.

However, the Central Bank did not reveal when the platform will be operational.

The volatile currency remains pegged at 1,507.5 to the dollar by the Central Bank, but that rate remains available only for imports of wheat, medicine and fuel.

The collapse of the Lebanese pound which has slashed about 90% of its value comes amid mounting divisions between politicians and while Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri remains at loggerheads with President Michel Aoun over a cabinet lineup.

Crushed under a mountain of debt, Lebanon is grappling with a financial crisis that has wiped out jobs, raised warnings of growing hunger and locked people out of their bank deposits.