The Lebanese pound rose again on the black market early on Friday, trading at 11,400 LL against the dollar, with hopes that a new government would be formed as early as Monday.
Brokers were selling the dollar for LL 11,500 and buying it for LL 11,300, compared to LL 11,950 on Thursday. The pound hit a record low of 15,100 LL for the greenback on Tuesday.
Traders attributed the large gains over the past two days to positive remarks by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri after meeting with President Michel Aoun on Thursday regarding the formation of a new government that would be tasked with stopping the collapse of the the Lebanese economy and regain the confidence of the international community.
“According to the directives of the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, and following the financial, security and judicial discussions which were held at the Baabda Palace on Monday March 8, a meeting was held on Friday between the governor of the BDL Riad Salameh and the adviser of the President in charge of financial affairs Charbel Qirdahi to review the measures taken by the governor to put an end to the unjustified rise in the exchange rate and to the suspicious speculation on the Lebanese pound â, indicates the press release of the presidency .
The governor informed the president that the Central Bank has decided to start work on the electronic platform belonging to him, so that all transactions are recorded and become the main reference of the real market price.
The BDL’s decision also provides for authorizing banks, from next week, to trade currencies identical to those of legitimate exchange bureaus and to record transactions at real price on the platform, provided that the Commission de banking control monitors the smooth running of the work.
The BDL will intervene to absorb liquidity in case of need until the exchange rate is adjusted according to known mechanisms.
The president informed the governor of the need to be strict in order to curb speculation, clean up the banking sector and resolve to restore confidence so that Lebanon once again becomes a banking hub in the region.
Salameh expected the Lebanese pound to fall against the dollar on Wednesday once new proposals are considered.
However, the governor did not disclose the nature of these measures.
Salameh made the statement after meeting with Acting Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni.
“The interim government’s finance minister, Ghazi Wazni, has discussed all financial and monetary matters with central bank governor Riad Salameh,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
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