Lebanese pound up with prospect of govt formation revival

Exchange dealers were selling the dollar for LL8,750 and buying it for LL8,650

  
A woman counts U.S. dollar banknotes as Lebanese pounds are pictured in the background at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 3, 2020.

A woman counts U.S. dollar banknotes as Lebanese pounds are pictured in the background at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 3, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound rose against the dollar Wednesday, trading at LL8,700 on the black market, as hopes were high that the stalled government formation talks would be revived.

Exchange dealers were selling the dollar for LL8,750 and buying it for LL8,650, compared to LL8,900-LL8,800 Tuesday. The dollar for the past two weeks has largely traded within the range of LL8,900-LL8,700.

After about a month of stalemate over the urgently needed government formation during which no meetings were held between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, as rising tensions between the two brought the whole process back to its starting point.

However, caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab Tuesday met with both leaders and announced from Baabda Palace that Aoun and Hariri would soon be meeting to explore an appropriate solution for the deadlocked process to form a new government, with Lebanon now in its sixth month in political vacuum.

This new development affected the market positively as many became hopeful for a new government as it is the first step toward economic rescue, which should also include a solution to the multiple exchange rates plaguing the economy.

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