A new electronic foreign exchange trading platform will open on June 23 as part of efforts to unify the price of dollars on a parallel market, the Lebanese central bank said on Wednesday.
In a circular the central bank said licensed money changers would input their transactions into a digital application and that sales would have to be in line with a dollar price range agreed with the central bank.
Lebanon’s battered pound currency has slid to fresh lows against the US dollar despite a new pricing system Beirut hopes can rein in soaring food prices as it negotiates a deal with the International Monetary Fund to climb out of crisis.
The pound has lost over 60 percent of its value since October, the result of a dwindling stock of dollars that has prompted banks to cut savers’ access to hard currency and ration dollars exclusively for fuel, medicine, and wheat at a pegged rate of 1,507.5 pounds.
One currency dealer said dollars on Wednesday were being bought at 4,250 and sold at 4,500. A second dealer said he was buying at 4,300 versus 4,100 a day earlier but not selling because of scarcity.
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