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CIRCULAR RENEWAL

Central bank renews circulars 158 and 151

Central bank renews circulars 158 and 151

Under the terms of circular 158, clients with eligible commercial bank accounts will continue to withdraw up to $800 monthly. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — The central bank on Wednesday renewed Circular 158 for another year, extending its validity up to the end of June 2023 and extended at the same time the validity of Circular 151 until the end of this year.

Here’s what we know:

    • Circular 158 applies only to deposits made before the end of October 2019, while Circular 151 applies to any deposit in US dollars.

    • Under the terms of Circular 158, clients with eligible commercial bank accounts will continue to withdraw up to $800 monthly. Commercial banks will pay out half of the $800, or $400, in dollar banknotes, while the other half will be paid out in lira at a rate of LL12,000 to the US dollar, which will total LL4.8 million. Half of the lira amount, or LL2.4 million, can be withdrawn in cash, while the other half can only be accessed by payment cards, checks or transfers to pay for taxes, fees, loans in lira and other expenses such as electricity bills, water bills, fixed line and mobile bills.

    • Circular 151 was last renewed in December when the central bank adjusted the rate from LL3,900 to LL8,000, when the lira was still trading around LL25,000 to the US dollar.

    • With the lira now trading at LL29,000 to the dollar on the parallel market rate, clients opting to withdraw money from their foreign currency accounts based on Circular 158 will be subjected to a haircut of around 29 percent, against a haircut of 72 percent for clients withdrawing money based on Circular 151, which regulates the withdrawal of dollars at the rate of LL8,000 to the US dollar. The haircut based on Circular 161 amounts to 68 percent based on a Sayrafa rate of LL24,900 to the US dollar. 


BEIRUT — The central bank on Wednesday renewed Circular 158 for another year, extending its validity up to the end of June 2023 and extended at the same time the validity of Circular 151 until the end of this year. Here’s what we know:    • Circular 158 applies only to deposits made before the end of October 2019, while Circular 151 applies to any deposit in US dollars.  ...