SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 6 May 2021, Thursday | النسخة العربية

Lebanon’s pound stable again against U.S. dollar

The Lebanese pound is stable again after it began plummeting over the past three days due to the Central Bank’s failure to launch a long-awaited platform that would allow commercial banks and licensed dealers to trade foreign currency at market rates.

The pound is trading on Thursday at roughly 12,300 against the U.S. dollar. The end of last week saw very little fluctuations in the rate of the local currency which started dwindling on Monday amid a lack of strict measures to control the devaluation.

The Central Bank’s platform, which was due to be launched on Monday (April 26), aimed to help maintain some order on the market and allow the BDL to have a degree of control over supply and demand of foreign currency.

The pound has fluctuated mainly within a 12,000-12,600 band to the dollar this month after hitting a record low of 15,100 in March on the collapse of efforts to form a new cabinet that would promptly enact economic reforms and begin negotiations with international financial organizations.

The local currency has lost nearly 85% of its value over the past 18 months amid a severe economic and financial meltdown that has threatened to destabilize the country.

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.

Political leaders have failed to agree a rescue plan since the crisis, rooted in decades of state graft, erupted in late 2019 as dollar inflows dried up.