Dealers can’t exceed official exchange rate over 30 pct: Lebanon central bank

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The Lebanese central bank told foreign exchange dealers on Friday they should not buy foreign currencies at prices more than 30 percent beyond the rates set by the central bank.

In a circular, the central bank said foreign currency dealers should refrain from any trade that did not stick to this percentage. The decision applies for six months.

Based on the current peg, the central bank's instruction means currency dealers should not pay more than around 2,000 pounds for a dollar, compared with the 2,630 pounds one dealer said he was offering for a dollar on Friday.

Read more: Lebanese customers feel currency squeeze as dollar crisis worsens

Lebanon is in the midst of an economic crisis and faces a liquidity crunch, as dollars in the country have dried up. Lebanon relies on imports, that must be paid for in dollars, and importers have struggled to secure enough greenbacks for months to pay for goods.

Previous circulars from the central bank ensured that fuel, wheat, and medication imports could still be bought at the official rate. However, periodic short-lived strikes from fuel and wheat importers over the past months have still occured.

- With Reuters

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