BEIRUT — The lira sold for more than 20,000 to the US dollar on Wednesday, losing almost all the value it regained following the announcement of a new government last month.
The pound, officially pegged at LL1,500 to the greenback since 1997, has lost more than 90 percent of its parallel market value since the start of an unprecedented economic crisis in 2019.
The plummeting lira sold for a record low of more than 23,000 to the dollar on the black market in July.
The formation of a new government on Sept. 10, ending a yearlong political deadlock, then brought the value of the currency back up to less than 15,000 to the greenback — its highest value in months.
But the boost to market sentiment quickly faded, and the lira started to retreat again in the following weeks.
On Wednesday, it sold for LL20,500 to the greenback, down from LL17,000 to the dollar at the start of the month, money changers told AFP.
Wednesday’s exchange rate puts the lira at its lowest value since August — the last time it topped the symbolic LL20,000 mark.
The continuing drop in the the currency’s value has dashed hopes that Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s new government can stem an economic crisis branded by the World Bank as likely one of the worst since the mid-19th century.
Nearly 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.