Governor Riad Salameh of the Banque du Liban has issued a statement outlining measures to intervene in the foreign exchange market in an effort to stabilize the currency.
The statement cites Articles 75 and 83 of the Monetary and Credit Law and includes the following actions:
- The Banque du Liban will sell cash US dollars and buy cash Lebanese pounds at the price of 70,000 LBP per dollar, effective March 2, 2023.
- The Banque du Liban will meet the entire demand resulting from the sale of the Lebanese pound by companies and individuals.
- Requests for the sale of Lebanese pounds can be made through banks registered via the Sayrafa platform and will be paid within 3 working days.
- Individuals can sell up to one billion Lebanese pounds per month for each account in each bank, and companies can sell up to 10 billion Lebanese pounds for each account in each bank.
- The Sayrafa platform will be priced at 70,000 LBP to the dollar.
- Public sector pensions and compensations for the month of February will be paid at the Sayrafa price of 45,400 LBP for the dollar on March 1, 2023.
- Banks will stop buying dollars for their customers, with a ceiling of $300 per month, until further notice.
- Circular 161 of public sector pensions will continue to work.
- The Banque du Liban will continue to pay the cash dollars it sold before this statement and which have not been paid until now.
The decision comes in response to the recent spike in the black-market rate for the US Dollar, which hit 92,000 LBP per dollar less than an hour before the statement was released.
The new measures will take effect from March 2, 2023, until further notice.