Lebanese pound maintains decline, trading at LL8,225

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for around LL8,300 and buying it for LL8,150

  
Lebanese pound banknotes are seen at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Lebanese pound banknotes are seen at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon June 15, 2020. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound dropped further against the dollar Sunday, trading at LL8,225 on the black market, a day after Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib excused himself from the responsibility of forming a new government due to a monthlong deadlock.

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for around LL8,300 and buying it for LL8,150. The dollar traded for around LL8,050 Saturday and LL7,700 Friday.

Adib's resignation puts the country back at square one at a time when a full-fledged government is desperately needed to enact sound economic and monetary policies as Lebanon descends into financial collapse.

Adib was appointed under immense pressure from France, and the formation of a new Cabinet was part of President Emmanuel Macron's initiative for Lebanon to put the country on a path of reforms that would lead to international financial aid.

Lebanon has been waiting for a new government since outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned on Aug. 10, several days after the catastrophic Beirut Port explosion that killed more that 190 people and injured 6,500.

During Macron’s Sept. 1 visit to Lebanon, politicians said they would form a new government within 15 days. That deadline passed over a week ago, and French officials have repeatedly urged Lebanon’s political groups to work in unison to form a government and tackle the country’s worst ever financial crisis.

Licensed exchangers were selling the dollar for LL3,900 and buying it for LL3,850, a rate set by the Central Bank that has remained unchanged for months.

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