Here are BDL’s reasons for raising Sayrafa dollar rate

Lebanon Economy
2022-12-28 | 09:26
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Here are BDL’s reasons for raising Sayrafa dollar rate
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4min
Here are BDL’s reasons for raising Sayrafa dollar rate
The Governor of Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, was clear in his decision to raise the Sayrafa exchange rate of a dollar to 38,000 pounds. It is first to curb the rise in the dollar exchange rate in the parallel market and to limit the financing of the Syrian economy in dollars from Lebanon.

Salameh's decision to raise the price of the Sayrafa dollar to 38,000 Liras and to make it available to everyone without ceilings was not coordinated with the banks. 

The banks say that their response to this decision depends on the dollars that Banque du Liban would provide them with. Sources in the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) revealed that the banks did not receive any extra quota on Wednesday to fulfill all orders.

This reality raised the voices of the citizens. Banque du Liban responded by inviting them to go to Al-Mawarid bank to meet their requests. The matter will not be limited to this bank. Still, BDL may name other banks that will cooperate on this matter to embarrass the reluctant banks.

Sources at Al-Mawarid Bank said that the bank decided to cooperate with the central bank in its decision with the initial aim of reducing the dollar price and that the bank will try to meet all requests adding that it may open its doors even on holidays.

The decision of the Governor of Banque du Liban to raise the Sayrafa exchange rate to 38,000 Liras aims, according to banking sources for three things:

First, making the Sayrafa rate a reference rate for the dollar, thus reducing the difference between it and the parallel market. This is a step on the path to unifying the exchange rates.

Secondly, curbing the rise in the parallel exchange rate of the dollar by directing requests for the dollar from those who have accounts in banks to the Sayrafa exchange platform without any ceilings, and this contributes to reducing demand from the parallel market and leads to limiting the rise in its exchange rate.

Thirdly, curbing the rise in prices. This is sampled by what happened in fuel and is supposed to be reflected in other commodities. Still, the lack of authority will keep prices high.

According to banking sources, the central bank did not pump enough dollars on Wednesday to meet purchase orders on Sayrafa. The matter may be similar on Thursday, while Friday is an internal working day in banks at the end of the year. 

Sources go so far as to say that the ruler’s decision was intended only to ensure the dollar does not reach 50,000 Liras before the end of this year and is also intended to limit its smuggling into Syria.

On the other hand, this decision of Banque du Liban will not stop buying dollars from the parallel market for the sake of the Syrian economy.

According to the available information, those involved in this process cannot buy dollars through Sayrafa because they do not have bank accounts. Banking sources stressed that limiting the process of smuggling dollars into Syria is done by approving the Capital Control Law, whose effects are also supposed to apply to money changers.

The Central Council of Banque du Liban did not hold a meeting on Wednesday because of the holidays. Therefore the members of the Central Council couldn't discuss this decision with the governor. According to some of them, they were not aware of it.
 

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