Lebanese pound sinks to new low

The Lebanese pound on Tuesday sank to a new record low to the U.S. dollar on the parallel market as a steep financial crisis continues to bite, Elnashra news website reported.

The exchange rate of the Lebanese pound declined to 53,700 against the dollar, down from the previous record low of 50,000 on Jan. 19.

Mahassen Moursel, a Beirut-based finance expert, said the Lebanese pound is expected to collapse further, as the country’s banks will allow depositors to withdraw their dollar deposits starting on Feb. 15 at a rate of 15,000 Lebanese pounds per one U.S. dollar instead of the current rate of 8,000 Lebanese pounds per one U.S. dollar.

“Money supply in Lebanese pound will increase, therefore the value of the local currency will drop further against the U.S. dollar,” she said.

Lebanon has been suffering from a lingering financial crisis, and the country has so far failed to implement structural reforms to start the recovery process.

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