Lebanon: Speculations Swing Beirut’s Dollar Up, Down

 A man counts US dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
A man counts US dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
TT

Lebanon: Speculations Swing Beirut’s Dollar Up, Down

 A man counts US dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
A man counts US dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange shop in Beirut, Lebanon April 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

The Lebanese people’s cheers did not last long with the tangible improvement in the exchange rate and the speculations about the US dollar reaching the threshold of LBP 5,000.

The green currency rose again on Monday and reached LBP 8,000 by the end of day.

Banking sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that unfounded information spread about a dramatic decrease in the value of the USD against the Lebanese pound, with the aim to motivate some home savers and non-currency dealers to offer hard currency.

According to the sources, rumors also overstated unconfirmed political moves and inflated imminent external support, in addition to amounts “brought in by expatriates after the reopening of Beirut’s international airport.”

However, the banking officials noted that the re-delegation of the banks to manage the subsidized dollar portfolio - which is provided by the central bank at a price of LBP 3,900 for the benefit of importers of the food and basic commodity basket approved by the Ministry of Economy - actually contributed to curbing the real and justified demand for the dollar at the licensed cashiers and created a less tense atmosphere in the parallel market.

On the other hand, Lebanon’s stumbled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have generated negative factors that put further pressure on the national currency.

The talks with the IMF experts were aimed at securing an easy financing program to help the government tackle the large financial gap that has affected all production, labor and employment sectors.



Egypt Says it Cut Foreign Debt by $14 Bln in 5 Months to May

The Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
The Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
TT

Egypt Says it Cut Foreign Debt by $14 Bln in 5 Months to May

The Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
The Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters is seen in downtown Cairo, Egypt March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt reduced its external debt by $14 billion in the five months to end-May, the sharpest such decline in the country's history, a statement released on Monday by Egypt's press center said.
The country's external debt fell to $154 billion as of the end of May from $168 billion at the end of December, according to the statement which quoted an unnamed high-level source at the central bank.
Egypt quadrupled its debt over the last nine years to help among others fund a new capital, build infrastructure and support an overvalued currency.