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Lebanese pound nears record low as devaluation resumes

The Lebanese pound resumed its downward trajectory on Thursday, with the parity of the currency diminishing to 15,200LL against the dollar on the black market.

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Lebanon’s currency has devaluated more against the dollar on the black market on Thursday. The freefall of the local currency gripped the state as a political deadlock and an economic crisis ensues in the country.

The latest drop depicts the loss of the value of the Lebanese pound by approximately 90 percent of its worth on the market in just 18 months.

The Lebanese pound has been frozen to the dollar at 1,500 since 1997, but the country’s wickedest economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war has seen its informal value plunge.

The downwards trajectory has gained rapidity over the past two weeks, with the exchange rate mounting from 10,000 Lebanese pounds to the dollar on March 2 to around 15,000 this Thursday.

Three exchange officials held that they were buying dollars for 14,800 to 14,900 Lebanese pounds, while a customer expressed that they had unloaded the foreign currency at 15,000 pounds to the dollar.

The pound’s drop has accelerated the climbing food prices in a country where more than half of the population now lives under the poverty line.

The scent of burnt tires has engulfed Beirut on Tuesday after crowds of demonstrators took to the streets in the capital and elsewhere in the country, in the latest of such marches in recent weeks.

“Lebanon’s exchange rate reaches 15,000LL to the dollar. Last night it was 13,250,” tweeted analyst Maha Yahya. “The country is collapsing around us and we are unable to do anything,” said Yahya, the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center.

The economic situation of the Middle Eastern country has grown worse as an explosion at the port of Beirut has created significant damages to Lebanese trade. Social unrest has been further aggravated by the uncertainties observed at the governmental level.

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