Lebanese pound drops after minister quits

The pound has lost around 80 percent of its value in the last year, dramatically decreasing the purchasing power of many Lebanese

  
A customer wearing gloves holds Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange store, during a countrywide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beirut, Lebanon April 3, 2020.

A customer wearing gloves holds Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange store, during a countrywide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beirut, Lebanon April 3, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound dropped against the dollar on the black market Monday, trading at around LL7,900 after the government was rocked by the resignation of Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti.

Lebanon’s markets have become nervous following Hitti’s surprise resignation Monday morning, which he said was attributed to a lack of reforms and his inability to perform his duties. Rumours were also circulating that a few more ministers might also quit.

Black market exchangers, which had been mostly nonoperational due to a five-day coronavirus lockdown, were buying the dollar at LL7,800 and selling it for LL8,000.

The pound has lost around 80 percent of its value in the last year, dramatically decreasing the purchasing power of many Lebanese.

Lebanon is facing its worst economic and financial crisis, with the population experiencing electricity blackouts, poverty, mounting piles of garbage on the streets and a severely devalued national currency, which has drastically decreased the Lebanese's purchasing power.

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