Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh said Wednesday that the bank aims to keep the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound stable in 2019.
Speaking at a forum on the private sector in Arab countries, Salameh also said Lebanese bank deposits climbed by 3.5 percent in 2018.
He said the notable thing about the increase in deposits “was in the deposits in foreign currencies while the deposits in Lebanese pounds remained at the same level, raising dollarization to 70 percent in the Lebanese markets.”
The comments were his first in public since remarks by the caretaker finance minister last week about Lebanon’s public debt triggered concerns that the debt might be restructured, leading to a sell-off in the country’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds.
The government issued a statement on Sunday saying it had “absolutely” no plans to restructure the debt, helping the bonds to recover.
The pound has been pegged against the dollar at its current level for more than two decades.
The Daily Star