Lebanese pound falls slightly after govt resignation

Black market currency changers were selling the dollar at LL7,800 and buying it for LL7,500

  
A man counts Lebanese pounds at an exchange office in Beirut, Lebanon, August 16, 2018.

A man counts Lebanese pounds at an exchange office in Beirut, Lebanon, August 16, 2018.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound fell marginally against the US dollar Tuesday, trading at around LL7,650 following the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government.

Diab’s government had been in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a potential bailout that would help to stabilize the volatile local currency, which has lost around 80 percent of its value since September 2019.

Forming a government in Lebanon is a task that often takes months, and with Diab’s resignation and a weak caretaker government in place, it is now likely to take even longer to get that much needed cash injection from the Washington-based lender.??

Black market currency changers were selling the dollar at LL7,800 and buying it for LL7,500 Tuesday, a fall from the previous day’s median rate of LL7,550 to the dollar.

Licensed exchange dealers Tuesday were selling at LL3,900 and buying at LL3,850 to the dollar.

The local currency has been by buoyed slightly by the announcement that international donors will send $298 million Lebanon’s way as short-term aid in the wake of the blast. The currency was trading at around LL8,050 to the dollar when the port blast ravaged Beirut Aug. 4.

There has also been greater dollar liquidity since the explosion, helping to ease the headwinds on the pound.

Banque du Liban allowed money transfer companies to once again provide dollars. These companies had previously been instructed to convert foreign transfers to pounds at a rate of LL3,800 to the dollar.

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