Lebanese pound little changed after record drop

Exchange dealers said they were selling the dollar for LL22,250 and buying it for LL22,150

  
A money exchange vendor counts Lebanese pound banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 17, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose

A money exchange vendor counts Lebanese pound banknotes at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 17, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound was little changed on the black market Monday, trading at 22,200 to the dollar, days after it nosedived following the resignation of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Exchange dealers said they were selling the dollar for LL22,250 and buying it for LL22,150, compared to LL22,400-LL22,200 on Saturday.

The local currency saw an alarming dive Friday when Hariri decided to step down after President Michel Aoun rejected his new Cabinet lineup of 24 nonpartisan specialists designed to meet the reforms needed to rescue Lebanon from its critical state.

The pound was trading at around 14,000 to the dollar in June, but it sunk to many record lows this month as political tensions rose, worsening living conditions with supplies of fuel, electricity, medicines and foods running low.

Since late 2019 the local currency has lost over 90 percent of its value on the black market, which has surged inflation levels and caused dramatic price hikes. As a result over half of Lebanon’s population has been pushed into poverty, with UNICEF recently reporting that as many as 77 percent of households do not have enough food or money to buy food.

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