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Lebanese pound falls again as govt talks flounder

Lebanese pounds and dollars are seen at an exchange shop in Beirut, April 24, 2020. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound dropped on the black market Thursday, trading at 18,850 to the dollar, exchange dealers said.

The dealers were buying the dollar for LL18,800 and selling it for LL18,900, down from LL18,300-18,400 on Wednesday.

Government talks appear paralyzed, despite a wave of optimism that an imminent breakthrough might be reached earlier this week.

Lebanon has been governed by a caretaker administration since August 2020, and President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati have been trying to reach a cabinet formation agreement for six weeks. Hopes rose of a breakthrough on Monday, but despite growing international pressure no agreement has been reached so far.

The pound has lost over 90% of its value since 2019, leading to shortages of essentials and pushing over 70 percent of the population into poverty,

 

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