BEIRUT: The battered Lebanese pound tumbled on the black market Tuesday, trading at over 21,000 against the dollar, a day after Prime Minister Najib Mikati indicated a major setback in his efforts to form a new government.
Exchange dealers said they were buying the greenback for LL21,100 and selling it for LL21,200, compared to LL19,100-LL19,200 Monday morning.
The dealers said the drop in national currency came after hopes Mikati would be able to quickly form a new government were dashed after his meeting Monday with President Michel Aoun ended on a negative note.
In an ominous sign clearly reflecting his resentment over the hurdles facing him in his attempts to form a proposed Cabinet of 24 nonpartisan specialists to deliver reforms and avert an all-out economic collapse in the crises-hit country, Mikati complained of the “slowness” in the formation process, saying he had hoped the government would be formed before Aug. 4, marking the first anniversary of last year’s deadly Beirut Port explosion.
He also said his deadline to form a government was not open-ended.
The local currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value since late 2019 as the country plunged into its worst financial and economic crisis in modern times, pushing more than half the population below the poverty line.
Copyright © 2021, The Daily Star. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).