Lebanese pound slides to new low


Beirut, Sep 14 : The Lebanese pound slid to a new low against the US dollar as the country continues to suffer from a steep financial crisis. The exchange rate of the Lebanese pound on Tuesday declined to 36,600 against the dollar, down from the previous record low of 35,500 on September 2, reports Xinhua news agency. Patrick Mardini, president of the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies, attributed the continuous depreciation of the local pound to the central bank's policy to finance the government deficit and deposit withdrawals at commercial banks. "As long as the central bank maintains its policy of financing the government and commercial banks, the local currency will continue to depreciate," he said. Mardini said that the central bank could try to put some more limits on withdrawals, but these policies would only work for a short while, and then the dollar will pick up. "I expect the dollar to continue rising in the long run," he said. In May this year, the Lebanese pound sank to a new historic low when the exchange rate of the currency declined to 34,000 against the US dollar. Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis that resulted in the collapse of the local currency. Hit by intertwined political, economic and health crises, Lebanon's poverty rate now has risen to more than 74 per cent, according to the World Bank. /IANS


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