The Lebanese pound currency has seen a slight improvement on Thursday with exchange rates of 10,450/10,550 pounds against the U.S. dollar on the black market, but a risk of further devaluation remains as financial meltdown and political deadlock bite.
The pound was traded yesterday at a rate hovering between 10,600 and 10,650 to the dollar.
Despite nationwide protests that took place in recent days to protest an alarming exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, the Lebanese authorities sat idly by instead of enforcing measures to address the situation and ordered the army to clear roadblocks.
The new slump in the pound, which had hit 10,000 LBP last week, broke a semi-stable margin of around 8,000/8,500 LBP against USD, prompting citizens to block roads with burning tires, venting their anger at the deteriorating living conditions.
The pound remains pegged to the dollar at 1,507.5, but that rate fixed by the central bank remains available only for imports of wheat, medicine and fuel.
As a liquidity crunch erodes the currency’s value, Lebanese banks had raised the exchange rate from 1,507.5 to 3,850 pounds per dollar for withdrawals from U.S. dollar accounts.
The collapse of the Lebanese pound has slashed about 85% of its value in a country relying heavily on imports.