Lebanese pound rises for fourth day in a row

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,100 and buying it for around LL7,000

  
A man counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon October 1, 2020.

A man counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon October 1, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound rose further against the dollar Friday, trading at around LL7,050, as Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri gears up to hold non-binding parliamentary consultations to form a new government that must pull the country out of its deepest crisis since the 1975-90 Civil War.

Black market exchangers were selling the dollar for LL7,100 and buying it for around LL7,000. The pound has been steadily rising since Tuesday, when it traded for LL7,450. Friday’s rate marked a 10 percent increase from LL7,800 in recent days as binding parliamentary consultations neared. The pound was trading at around LL7,150 on the black market Thursday.

Hariri is set to begin non-binding parliamentary consultations Friday afternoon with heads of various parliamentary blocs on the formation of a new government.

After his designation, Hariri is expected to form a government that can steer Lebanon out of crisis after being sucked into a 73-day political vacuum that started following caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s resignation over the deadly Beirut Port blast.

Lebanon in the meantime has been sinking further into crisis, left without a fully functioning government that can manage the COVID-19 pandemic, stall Lebanon's financial collapse and respond to the social catastrophe caused by the port explosion.

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