Lebanese pound dips after brief increase in value

Lebanese pound dips after brief increase in value

The volatile Lebanese pound dipped Saturday after seeing its value increase during the last week.

Pegged at 1,507.5 to the US dollar for years, the currency has lost around 80 percent of its value since nationwide anti-government protests erupted last October.

On Saturday, the Lebanese pound was trading just above 8,000 to the dollar on a parallel market.

Late last month, Lebanese banks raised the exchange rate to 3,850 pounds per dollar for withdrawals from US dollar accounts.

At the new withdrawal rate, depositors would still lose around 50 percent of the value of their savings relative to the informal market.

Lebanon’s Central Bank has sought to stabilize the rate at exchange houses by setting a unified rate with them each day, with penalties for dealers not adopting it.

Still, importers say they have found it nearly impossible to secure dollars.

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