Lebanese banknotes displayed at an exchange office in Beirut, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Rumors surrounding the eventual devaluation of the Lebanese pound has kept growing in the past few weeks, despite the repeated assurances by Central Bank governor Riad Salameh that the national currency is stable, and will remain stable.Ghobril and other bankers said that customer deposits are increasing in the banking sector."A massive outflow of deposits cannot happen in one day and history has proved it," Ghobril said.He added that there were four cases of capital outflow in Lebanon.Ghobril emphasized that when Hariri was assassinated, the outflows of money represented only 5 percent of the total deposits, and the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 had only caused 5 percent of the deposits to flee.According to recent figures, total private sector deposits reached $172.4 billion at the end of May 2018, increasing by 2.2 percent from the end of 2017, and by 3.8 percent from a year earlier. Deposits in Lebanese pounds reached $54.6 billion end of May 2018, up by 3.4 percent from end of 2017, but down by 1.7 percent year-on-year, while deposits in foreign currencies totaled $117.8 billion, and grew by 1.7 percent from end of 2017, and by 6.5 percent from end of May 2017 .
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