Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, confirmed that Lebanon’s obtaining, according to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, support ranging between 12 and 15 billion dollars, will help to move the economy again and restore confidence.
He explained via an interview with AFP: “Our share in the IMF is four billion, and countries can add to it through the IMF, and we can usually reach an amount ranging between 12 and 15 billion dollars,” noting that “this amount helps Lebanon to regain confidence.”
Salameh indicated that the mandatory reserve with the “Central” decreased to 12.5 billion dollars, after it was 32 billion before the start of the economic crisis two years ago, adding that “the mandatory reserves today are about 12.5 billion dollars,” explaining that the Banque du Liban, which lift subsidies in recent months on the import of major commodities, most notably fuels and a number of medicines, is able to finance the import of the remaining subsidized commodities for a period of at least six to nine months.
The governor considered that the official exchange rate “is no longer realistic,” after the Lebanese pound lost more than ninety percent of its value against the dollar, while the exchange rates varied within the central bank and in the parallel market.
He said that the price of 1,507 pounds to the dollar, officially approved since 1997, “is no longer realistic today” after it “served” the economy and made “the economic and social situation in Lebanon good in 27 years,” explaining that the exchange rate cannot be unified in isolation from political stability and before an agreement with the IMF.