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LIRA RATE

Commercial banks begin processing lira exchange transactions, but amount is not unlimited: sources

Commercial banks begin processing lira exchange transactions, but amount is not unlimited: sources

Commercial banks on Monday began taking application from personal account holder to exchange lira to dollars at the Sayrafa rate. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — Banks started receiving applications today from clients looking to convert their lira to US dollars as the central bank instructed late Friday afternoon, but banking sector sources say that contrary to Banque du Liban’s instructions, limits are being imposed on the amount of lira individual clients may exchange.

Here’s what we know:

    • Several bankers told L’Orient Today that their institutions have started accepting requests from personal account holders but not from commercial ones. They also noted that currency exchange transactions they are offering are subject to limits, contrary to what the central bank announced on Friday. They said the limits for personal account holders’ transactions currently fall between LL75 million and LL100 million per month or between $3,000 to $4,000 when calculated at the the most recent average Sayrafa platform exchange rate: LL24,600.

    • The bankers L’Orient Today interviewed said that further details for commercial transactions will be available by tomorrow and bank branches, which opened until 6 p.m. today as per Banque du Liban’s instructions, will do so again tomorrow and Wednesday.

    • The lira traded in a wide range on Friday, falling early in the day to an all time low of LL37,700 to the US dollar before rebounding back to LL28,000.

    • The lira’s unexpected intraday strength is attributed to the central bank’s surprise Friday announcement, indicating its recommitment to Circular 161 and to its strategy of selling US dollars to residents and companies in unlimited amounts at the Sayrafa rate.

    • On Monday afternoon, the lira traded at LL27,500 to the US dollar on the parallel market, LL3000 below the Sayrafa Friday’s average of LL24,600.

    • Market experts question how well this new round of BDL intervention will succeed in curbing the lira’s weakness when previous similar measures failed.  


BEIRUT — Banks started receiving applications today from clients looking to convert their lira to US dollars as the central bank instructed late Friday afternoon, but banking sector sources say that contrary to Banque du Liban’s instructions, limits are being imposed on the amount of lira individual clients may exchange.Here’s what we know:    • Several bankers told L’Orient...