Pound drops as Lebanon awaits new Cabinet

Trading at as low as LL6,450 over the weekend, the pound stood at LL6,650 Monday and black market exchangers were selling the dollar Tuesday for LL6,850 and buying it for LL6,750

  
A money exchange vendor displays Lebanese pound banknotes at his shop in Beirut, Lebanon, August 16, 2018.

A money exchange vendor displays Lebanese pound banknotes at his shop in Beirut, Lebanon, August 16, 2018.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound continued to drop in value against the dollar Tuesday, trading at around LL6,800, as the country remains in anticipation of a new government that will pull Lebanon out of its multitude of crises.

Trading at as low as LL6,450 over the weekend, the pound stood at LL6,650 Monday and black market exchangers were selling the dollar Tuesday for LL6,850 and buying it for LL6,750.

The pound registered significant losses against the dollar when former Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib stepped down from his mission to form a new government a month ago, trading at LL,8000 and later on at as high as LL8,800.

However, when former premier Saad Hariri was designated as the new prime minister Thursday the markets reacted positively to the news with the pound trading at around LL7,150.

Hariri has since been moving quickly to form the much-needed government that is expected to steer Lebanon out of its catastrophic economic and financial situation and implement reforms to unlock vital foreign assistance.

In line with the French initiative to rescue Lebanon from its economic demise, the new “mission” Cabinet is expected to quickly implement reforms in order to unlock crucial international financial assistance and revive talks with the International Monetary Fund, from which Lebanon aims to borrow around $10 billion, a number many experts do not see as realistic.

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