Lebanese pound buoyed by BDL measures, foreign aid

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,400 and buying it at around LL7,100

  
Lebanese pound banknotes are seen at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Lebanese pound banknotes are seen at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound rose against the US dollar Friday, trading at around LL7,250 on the black market, a day after the Central Bank took a series of monetary measures in light of a devastating blast that rocked the capital this week.

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,400 and buying it at around LL7,100. The pound traded at around LL7,850 Thursday.

With the Beirut Port suffering massive damage as a result of a blast of an unprecedented magnitude for Lebanon, the part of the port housing general cargo, livestock and the country’s main wheat silo were all destroyed and are out of use. But with humanitarian aid pouring in and a donor conference slated for Sunday, hopes have been raised that foreign currency supply would increase which led to a drop in demand.

The Central Bank Thursday instructed money transfer companies to provide money transfers in dollars. The companies had been paying out the transfers in pounds at a rate of around LL3,800 to the dollar.

The local currency has lost some 80 percent of its value as Lebanon faces an unprecedented economic crisis.

Licensed exchangers around the country were selling the dollar for LL3,900 and buying at LL3,850.

The official peg set by the Central Bank remains at LL1,507.5 to the dollar, and is only being used for essential imports such as medicine, fuel and wheat.

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