Lebanese pound down for fifth day in a row

Exchange dealers said the dollar was trading at LL16,800-LL16,900 on the black market

  
U.S. dollar banknotes and Lebanese pounds are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. Image used for illustrator purpose

U.S. dollar banknotes and Lebanese pounds are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. Image used for illustrator purpose

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound tumbled for a fifth straight day Wednesday, as the euphoria over the formation of a new government earlier this month gave way to the harsh realization of the monumental task of halting the country's economic and financial collapse.

Exchange dealers said the dollar was trading at LL16,800-LL16,900 on the black market, from LL16,300-LL16,400 a day earlier.

The pound had risen from nearly 19,000 to the dollar to 13,500 in the days after the formation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati's Cabinet on Sept 10. But the rally quickly fizzled out as the new government got down to work in a country suffering from an acute banking crisis, lack of foreign reserves, unpaid debt, rampant corruption, gross mismanagement and severe shortages of essential goods, including power and fuel.

The pound has lost 90 percent of its value over the last two years, while three quarters of the population now live in poverty.

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