The dollar’s exchange rate jumped in Lebanon, during the beginning of trading on Friday, February 26, 2021, at the informal parallel market (black).
During early trading on Friday morning, the exchange rate of the dollar against the Lebanese pound was 9,650 liras for purchase, 9,600 liras for sale, compared with 9,395 liras for purchase and 9,425 pounds for sale, according to local media.
By the end of February, Lebanon is entering the implementation phase of Circular 154, issued by Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh, which requires banks to raise their capital by 20% and place 3% of their foreign deposits with correspondent banks (i.e., their foreign bank).
Friday is the last working day of February, meaning that banks must at best declare their commitment or non-compliance with Circular 154.
In Lebanon, 32 banks, 16 of which have so far declared their commitment to the circular, (8 banks have declared total commitment and 8 have declared partial commitment).
Other banks that have not issued any statement cannot be judged before the deadline for the circular expires before the end of this month.
The exchange rate of the dollar at the Central Bank of Lebanon at 1507.5 lira per dollar, and is allocated only to commodities.
Lebanese banks have set the price of 3,850 lire to the dollar, when the dollar has been withdrawn for small depositors some time ago and is still in effect today.
The Bankers’ Union of Lebanon fixed the exchange rate of the dollar against the Lebanese pound with a moving margin between the price of 3,850 liras for purchase and 3,900 liras for sale at a maximum.
The Lebanese financial crisis, the largest since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, fuelled unrest, prevented depositors from their accounts and sparked a collapse of the currency, which lost 80 percent of its value against the dollar.
Although some official transactions take place at the official exchange rate of the lira before the crisis of 1,500 to the dollar, the value of the currency on the informal market has been reduced to more than 9,000.