Local

Lebanese pound slightly down on black market

An exchange dealer office in Hamra, Feb. 1, 2021. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound is slightly down Monday, trading at 16,350 to the dollar on the black market, after it soared last week after the formation of a new government.

Exchange dealers said they were buying the dollar for LL16,300 and selling it for LL16,400, down from LL16,000-LL16,100 on Saturday. On Friday, the pound surged after a cabinet deal was finally agreed between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and President Michel Aoun amid mounting international pressure.

The pound has lost over 90 percent of its value since 2019, and there are severe shortages of basic essentials. Over 70 percent of the population have been pushed into poverty.

Mikati has said that he hopes to stop Lebanon's economic collapse and bring back prosperity, but has also warned people to "tighten their belts", saying that there are no reserves left for subsidies.

 

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