Exchange shops refuse to sell dollars for sixth day


Exchange shops across Lebanon for the sixth consecutive day refused to sell dollars following a Central Bank circular that was issued to cap their foreign currency buy rate.

“We’re still maintaining a strike until they change the decision” head of the Syndicate of Money Exchangers in Lebanon Jean Assaf told The Daily Star Thursday.

The Daily Star called a number of exchange shops in Beirut, which all claimed they had no dollars to sell. Most shops reported that they were buying dollars from customers at LL2,000. However some were reported to have been buying at LL2,500.

There are 305 licensed exchange houses while the number of unlicensed dealers is around 400, according to the head of the exchange dealers Mahmoud Mrad.

Unlicensed dealers are reportedly selling the dollar above LL2,500 or more.

The Central Bank circular, issued Friday, ordered money exchangers to cap their foreign currency buy rates at 30 percent more than that of the official state-set rate. This equates to a buy rate of around LL1,960 to the dollar.

The circular eased the downward trend of the Lebanese pound, which was trading at around LL2,645 before BDL’s intervention, but caused many exchange shops to stop selling or buying the dollar.

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