The Lebanese pound continues to collapse and is at its all-time low early this morning on the black market with an exchange rate of 29,500 LL / USD to buy and 29,600 LL / USD to sell despite reassuring announcements of the start of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on January 17.
Local authorities hope to obtain an agreement with the international institution in March despite the current paralysis of the Mikati III government, still in the grip of a boycott by ministers of the Amal movement and Hezbollah since last November.
In addition, there are reports of disagreement between Banque du Liban Governor Riad Salamé and Central Bank officials over the distribution of financial losses estimated by the Mikati III government at 69 billion dollars. They thus estimate that these losses are less important despite the IMF’s estimates which were close to those of the Diab government, ie more than 83 billion dollars.
This new disagreement could thus complicate the negotiations to come and thus prolong the monetary difficulties whereas now, the minimum wage which was equivalent to 450 USD just 2 years ago, is only worth 20 USD today. More than 82% of the population now lives below the poverty line.
On the bank deposit side, faced with an informal capital control introduced by the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) in November 2019, the latter would thus have melted in real value in proportion to the loss in value of the Lebanese pound against the dollar on the market. noir.