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Lebanese pound slightly up as govt gets down to work

An exchange office in Beirut, Dec. 7, 2020. (The Daily Star/Mohamad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese pound was slightly up Tuesday, trading at LL16,250 to the dollar, exchange dealers said.

Dealers are buying the dollar at LL16,200 and selling it at LL16,300 on the black market, after the Finance Ministry announced Monday that Lebanon would be receiving $1.135 billion in International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights. The funds are urgently needed by the country, which is struggling through one of the worst economic depressions of modern times.

After over a year without a government, a Cabinet was formed last week. Najib Mikati, the new prime minister, has pledged to unlock international aid and end shortages of basic essentials. Since the start of the economic crisis in 2019, at least 70 percent of the population has been pushed into poverty.

 

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