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Lebanon: lira falls to record low against US dollar

January 26, 2023 at 12:56 pm

An exchange dealer shows money at a currency exchange office as the value of the Lebanese currency against the US dollar continues to drop. [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

The Lebanese lira has fallen to a record low against the US dollar, it has been reported. The currency has lost more than 95 per cent of its value since the beginning of the country’s economic crisis in 2019. On Wednesday, it hit a low of LL57,000 against the US dollar on the black market.

Lebanon’s Central Bank’s sayrafa rate, in which it provides dollars to depositors in an attempt to limit depreciation of the lira, stood at LL38,000 against the dollar as of Tuesday. The gap between that rate and the black market now amounts to around LL19,000.

In protest at the spiralling devaluation of the lira, hundreds of Lebanese gathered outside the Central Bank headquarters in Beirut. They burnt tyres and held banners highlighting the bank’s “unfair” financial policies. They also demanded that the banks should return depositors’ money.

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