Lebanon’s national currency reached an all-time low of 100,000 to the US Dollar on Tuesday, as banks resumed their open-ended strike in protest at a succession of judicial decisions against the embattled financial sector.
The Lebanese pound is now trading at 100,000 to one US dollar on the parallel market, dealers said, a dizzying plunge from 1,507 before the economic crisis hit in 2019.
Furthermore, Sayfara platform was selling US dollars in cash at the improved rate of 75,800 pounds
The local currency’s market value was at about 60,000 to the dollar in late January. It has now lost more than 98 per cent of its value.
The historic low reflected on oil prices, with the gallon of gasoline nearing 1,800,000 LBP, the gallon of diesel reaching 1,680,000 LBP and the gas canister surpassing 1,190,000 LBP.
Meanwhile, the price of 805-gramme loaf of bread reached 35,000 LBP and the 1,062-gramme loaf of bread was at 44,000 LBP, according to an announcement by the Lebanese Ministry of Economy.
Banks Begin Strike
On the other hand, banks across the country were back on strike in protest against what they called “new arbitrary judicial decisions.”
Such decisions would allow borrowers to pay back foreign currency loans at the long redundant rate of 1,507 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar.
Lebanon’s banks have been at the forefront of the financial crisis. Since 2019, banks have imposed informal capital controls, severely limiting depositors’ access to their life savings.
Now, much of Lebanon has been plunged into poverty with severe shortages in basic essentials.
The economic crisis, described as one of the worst in modern history by the World Bank, has been blamed on decades worth of corruption and financial mismanagement by Lebanon’s ruling classes — including its banking sector.
Source: Lebanese media (edited and translated by Al-Manar English Website)