BEIRUT — Caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam urged in a statement Saturday foodstuff traders and supermarket owners to sell their products according to the “updated [lira to dollar] exchange rate,” after the national currency recovered Friday from its nadir.
Here’s what we know:
• Salam warned against all forms of “manipulation to monopolize foodstuffs in order to make illicit gains,” with offenders liable to face “severe” consequences. The caretaker economy minister said that inspections by the Consumer Protection Agency and other Economy Ministry auditors in cooperation with security forces would take place.
• The lira reached its lowest value yet on Friday, trading over LL37,000 to the dollar on the parallel market, before suddenly climbing back to around LL27,500 by Saturday morning in apparent reaction to a statement issued by Banque du Liban late Friday afternoon, calling on individuals and businesses to apply at commercial banks on Monday to buy dollars at the Sayrafa rate — last recorded at LL24,600 to the dollar — and saying the dollars would be issued within 24 hours.