The balance sheet of the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) hit a decrease of more than $396 million in foreign currency reserves in the second half of August. The remaining reserves have reached $9.75 billion.
The reserves’ drainage comes after a month of relative stability, with the BDL gradually reducing its dollar sales to fuel importers, and banks not giving out dollars through Sayrafa to most importers.
The BDL plan to inject dollars into the market through Sayrafa is still unclear, as it has no clear criteria for how dollar sales are prioritized, or which traders qualify to buy the subsidized dollars through the platform.
BDL’s total reserves (foreign currency and gold) cover about 167 months of debt service and constitute around 25%-30% of Lebanon’s gross and net public debt respectively.