SUN 12 - 7 - 2020
Date: Jun 24, 2020
Source: The Daily Star
Lebanese pound plunges to record low on black market
BEIRUT: The black market dollar Tuesday was being traded at an unprecedented high of LL6,075, a day after a slew of stringent dollar purchase limitations were imposed by the Syndicate of Money Changers in Lebanon.

This is a 75 percent devaluation on the old pegged rate of LL1,507.5 to the dollar, and the largest devaluation of the pound in the country's history.

The dollar was being sold at rates as high as LL6,200 on the black market Tuesday, and bought for LL5,950.

The syndicate Monday launched a set of purchase conditions for Lebanese wanting to buy dollars from licensed exchange houses, which requires customers to present documentation verifying their “need” for dollars.

Fears circulated Monday that the dollar's black market exchange rate against the pound will increase under these conditions.

“Legitimate” requirements for dollars, as deemed by the syndicate, include needing to pay the wages of foreign domestic workers, buy a flight ticket, pay Lebanese students’ tuition at foreign universities and their rent while abroad, pay dollar denominated mortgages and loans and pay for imports of food and medical goods.

This news comes as Banque du Liban gears up to launch its electronic currency-trading platform, which is designed to set the daily dollar to Lebanese pound exchange rate and regulate transactions.

This rate is currently being set by the syndicate, which specified Tuesday that licensed exchangers would buy dollars for LL3,850 and sell them for LL3,900.

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