Finance

EXCLUSIVE Lebanon to apply weaker official exchange rate, finance minister says

BEIRUT, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s central bank will use an official exchange rate of 15,000 pounds to the dollar instead of 1,507, Finance Minister Youssef Khalil told Reuters on Wednesday, calling it a step towards unifying the country’s numerous exchange rates.

The step will come into effect from the end of the October, Khalil said.

Lebanese authorities introduced the 1,507 rate in 1997.

But the pound has slumped by more than 95% from the official rate since Lebanon fell into financial crisis three years ago, currently changing hands at around 38,000 on a parallel market.

Unifying the numerous exchange rates is one of several conditions set by the IMF for Lebanon to secure a badly needed aid package. Last week, the IMF said Lebanon’s progress in implementing reforms remained very slow.

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Reporting by Laila Bassam, Timour Azhari and Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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