BEIRUT — After several months of relative stability at around LL93,000 against the dollar on the parallel market, the Lebanese lira suddenly depreciated on Saturday evening, with the greenback trading at around LL94,000, according to some online platforms shortly after 7 p.m.
The rate hit LL98,000 to the dollar before 7 p.m.
The official rate for the lira is LL15,000 against the dollar, after 25 years of being set at LL1,500.
In March, the Lebanese lira had reached a record rate of depreciation at LL143,000 against the dollar, before recovering in value and stabilizing at around LL93,000 for several months.
This new depreciation comes as Banque du Liban (BDL) Governor Riad Salameh is set to end his 30-year term this month without a successor.
Salameh is the subject of several investigations in Lebanon and Europe for corruption, which he denies.
According to some observers, BDL vice-governor Wassim Mansouri, who is close to Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri, could succeed Salameh.
But in early July, the institution's four vice-governors in office since 2020 — Wassim Mansouri, Bachir Yakzan, Salim Chahine and Alexandre Moradian — called on the government to find an official successor and threatened to resign.
BDL features a sectarian power-sharing system that governs many other high-level positions in Lebanon. The BDL governor must be a Maronite Christian, while the four deputy governors — a Shiite Muslim, a Sunni Muslim, a Druze and an Armenian Catholic — require the approval of the political leaders representing their respective communities.
In more than three years of economic crisis in Lebanon, the national currency has lost over 98 percent of its value compared with the former official exchange rate.
Meanwhile, without a president or fully empowered government, Lebanese authorities are stalling in adopting the reforms needed to halt the economic collapse.