the Lebanese pound devalued by almost 90%

Lebanon will adopt from February a new official exchange rate of 15,000 pounds for one US dollar instead of the current rate of 1,507 LL, a devaluation of nearly 90%, said a source at the Central Bank.

Indexed to the greenback since 1997 at the rate of 1,507 pounds to the dollar, the Lebanese pound has lost more than 95% of its value against the dollar in three years due to the unprecedented economic crisis that is shaking the country. “As of tomorrow, a dollar is worth 15,000 LL”.

“The rate at 1.507 LL will no longer exist,” she added. The new official rate of 15,000 LL for one dollar, however, remains almost four times lower than the real value of the pound on the parallel market, where the greenback is now trading at around 58,000 LL. Lebanon is experiencing one of the worst economic crises in the world since 1850 according to the World Bank, marked by a vertiginous rise in prices, a historic plummeting of the national currency, an unprecedented impoverishment of the population and serious shortages.

Last year, the Ministry of Finance had already announced that it would apply the new exchange rate from November 1, 2022, but this measure had never materialized. The change in the official exchange rate comes as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands the implementation of necessary reforms to unlock much-needed aid to the country.

Among these reforms, the unification of the exchange rate, the reform of the law on bank secrecy, the restructuring of the banking sector and a law on capital control. The IMF has singled out Lebanon on several occasions for its slowness in implementing reforms.

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