Commercial banks, authorized stockbrokers in Lebanon to trade currencies

BEIRUT: The Central Bank has decided to launch its own electronic exchange platform to record all transactions with the help of commercial banks and licensed currency traders, the president’s office announced on Friday.

The move was part of an effort by BDL to reduce the Lebanese pound’s exchange rate against the US dollar, which hit an all-time high of LL15,000 a few days ago.

The Lebanese pound rose again on the black market early Friday, trading at 11,400 LL to the dollar, on hopes that a new government would be formed as early as Monday.

Stock brokers were selling the dollar for LL11,500 and buying it for LL11,300, down from LL11,950 on Thursday. The pound hit a record low of LL15,100 against the greenback on Tuesday.

Dealers attributed the strong gains of the past two days to positive remarks by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri after he met with President Michel Aoun on Thursday over the formation of a new government that would be tasked with halting the collapse of the Lebanese economy and regain Lebanon’s trust. the international community.

According to the directives of the President of the Republic General Michel Aoun, and following the financial, security and legal discussions which were held at the Palace of Baabda on Monday March 8, a meeting was held on Friday between the Governor of the BDL Riad Salameh and adviser to 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, indicates the press release of the presidency.

The Governor informed the President that the Central Bank has decided to start the work on its electronic platform, so that all transactions are recorded and become the main reference for the real market price.

The BDL decision also plans to allow banks, from next week, to exchange currencies on the same basis as legitimate money changers and register transactions at the real price on the platform, provided that the Commission banking control monitors the smooth running of the work.

The BDL will intervene to absorb liquidity whenever necessary 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 can once again become a banking hub in the region.

Salameh expected the Lebanese pound rate to fall against the dollar on Wednesday once new proposals are considered.

However, the governor did not reveal the nature of these measures.

Salameh made the statement after meeting with acting finance minister Ghazi Wazni.

Interim Government Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni discussed with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh all financial and monetary issues, the finance ministry said in a statement.

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