The Central Bank of Lebanon announced on Monday that it would start selling U.S. dollars to banks at 3,900 Lebanese pounds to help cover fuel imports.
The Banque du Liban (BDL) said in a statement that starting Monday, June 28th, it would sell U.S. dollars at the said rate to “banks that apply to open credits for importing all kinds of fuel after having obtained prior approval for these credits.”
The above is true on the condition that these banks pay the value of the opened credits “one hundred percent in Lebanese pounds.”
With this step, the BDL has partially lifted its subsidy of fuel at the official exchange rate of 1,515 per USD instead of completely eliminating the subsidy. The move comes as the Central Bank works on reducing its foreign currency expenditures.
The decision was based on a recent proposal by caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni, which stipulated financing fuel imports at 3,900 LBP/USD and which caretaker PM Hassan Diab approved last week.
The BDL had stressed in a recent statement the need for Lebanese officials to form a new government and to lay out a plan for the implementation of reforms, which, it said, would pave the way for restoring confidence, reviving the economy, supporting people, and rationing subsidies.