Lira recovers as Salameh announces new Sayrafa scheme

The Lebanese pound recovered by around LBP 30,000 on the black market on Tuesday, after Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh announced a new Sayrafa platform scheme.

Setting the Sayrafa exchange rate at LBP 90,000, Salameh said in a statement that the public can now purchase U.S. dollars at the Sayrafa rate from any ‘Class A’ money changer or operating bank.

Salameh explained that buyers would deposit their Lebanese pounds with money changers or banks and would receive their equivalent in U.S. dollars within three days.

Noting that “banks that suspend their strike can take part in this process,” Salameh clarified that his move is aimed at “curbing the surge of the dollar exchange rate on the parallel market and preserving the value of ‘Lebanese dollar’ (Lollar) deposits.”

The unofficial dollar exchange rate had hit the unprecedented mark of LBP 143,000 earlier in the day, prompting pharmacies and some gas stations to close and citizens to block major roads across the country.

Source: Naharnet

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