Lebanese pound falls against dollar on black market

Unlicensed currency exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,650 and buying it for LL7,550

  
A man counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020.

A man counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound fell against the dollar Wednesday, trading at around LL7,600 on the black market as the government formation process remained stalled, now past its 15-day deadline.

Unlicensed currency exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,650 and buying it for LL7,550 while licensed traders continued to buy and sell the greenback at LL3,850 and LL3,900 respectively.

The pound had been trading at as high as LL7,500 to the dollar Tuesday.

No breakthrough was achieved in the government formation process after President Michel Aoun conducted discussions with heads of parliamentary blocs over the past two days in an attempt to break the deadlock as the 15-day deadline to form a Cabinet ended.

More behind-the-scenes discussions are set to take place in the next 24 hours in attempt to bridge differences of leading political parties over the next Cabinet.

Government formation talks had hit a snag over the weekend after the country’s main Shiite parties Amal and Hezbollah insisted that someone from their sect be appointed finance minister, a demand that contradicts Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib’s aim to rotate key ministries among the leading parties.

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