Lebanese pound plummets to new low as airport reopens

The Central Bank set the buy and sell rates for the dollar on the Sayrafa electronic platform at LL3,850 and LL3,900 respectively

  
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 plummeted to a new low Wednesday, crossing the 9,000LL mark against the dollar on the black market.

The Central Bank set the buy and sell rates for the dollar on the Sayrafa electronic platform at LL3,850 and LL3,900 respectively.

Meanwhile the dollar was trading at around LL9,100 on the black market, further depreciating the value of the Lebanese pound and effectively decreasing the already little purchasing power people have left.

People in Lebanon now have to deal with an additional exchange rate with the reopening of the Beirut Rafik Hariri International Airport Wednesday.

The duty free area announced that it would adhere to an LL8,000 exchange rate. However the statement noted that products are subject to a 20 percent discount upon purchase which would effectively lower the rate to LL6,400.

In addition to the rate set by the Central Bank for licensed exchangers, the black market rate and the duty free rate, there are two other exchange rates: those with dollar accounts in Lebanese banks withdraw their money in Lebanese pounds at a rate of LL3,850 and people who have dollars sent to them through money transfer offices such as Western Union get them in Lebanese pounds at the LL3,800 rate.

The official peg of the Lebanese pound against the dollar, which was set by the Central Bank back in 1997, remains at LL1,507.5.

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