Naharnet

Salameh Says Central Bank Defending Currency During Crisis

The Central Bank will ensure that the country's currency remains stable and the government stays solvent after the collapse of the cabinet, Governor Riad Salameh said.

"We will be present in the market whenever our intervention is needed," Salameh told Bloomberg in a phone interview. "The central bank can act and will act to maintain stability."

The central bank has kept the Lebanese pound at about 1500 to the dollar for more than 10 years, ensuring that higher interest rates attract a steady flow of funds into the country. The bank has the resources needed to defend that policy, with foreign currency reserves of $30.8 billion as of Jan. 11, and another $12.7 billion in gold, Salameh said.

Salameh also told As Safir daily in remarks published Friday that it was natural for the demand on the dollar to increase at times of crisis.


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