Lebanese Pound Drops Ahead Of 25-Day Lockdown

TDS/Mohamad Azakir

Dropping slightly since the beginning of 2021, the Lebanese pound, or lira, dropped more significantly on Tuesday, trading at around 8,575 LBP on the black market.

Black market traders are selling the dollar for 8,625 LBP and buying it for 8,525 LBP; this is the highest exchange rate in over a month.

This drop came after Lebanon announced a new curfew and lockdown due to the reported staggering number of new COVID-19 cases overwhelming Lebanon’s hospitals.

The lockdown will start on Thursday, January 7th until February 1st, during which curfew hours will be from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Lebanon will also implement the odd-even license plate rule to limit vehicle movement which will be in effect starting Wednesday.

On the political side, government formation talks are expected to resume after the country’s political elite decided to take time off during Christmas and New Year holidays, despite that Lebanon can’t afford to wait longer.

Prime Minister-designate is set to return from a family vacation this week and restart talks with President Michel Aoun despite the fact that the two have been at odds over the formation since Hariri’s nomination.