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Libya’s Central Bank Start Using New Exchange Rate

Dubai- Massader News

The Central Bank of Libya on Sunday introduced a new unified exchange rate agreed last month after years of division between rival branches based on opposing sides of the front line, according to Reuters.

As part of the change, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) suspended a fee on foreign currency transactions that it introduced two years ago to bring the official rate closer to the black market rate.

The Central Bank of Libya board agreed the new rate of 4.8 dinars to the United States dollar last month in its first full meeting for five years after splitting as the country divided between western and eastern factions.

In Tripoli, the black market rate on Sunday was 5 dinars to the dollar after dropping last week towards the new official rate. “We’ll have to wait three or four months to see how things go at commercial banks,” said Amer, a currency dealer.

Black market exchange shops in the east were mostly closed on Sunday waiting for the market to settle.

Malik al-Fakhri, an electronics dealer in Benghazi, said he had stopped using banks after 2013 because he lost too much money importing at the official rate and turned instead to the black market.

“The most important thing for the trader is stability,” he said.

The new rate is an effective devaluation, meaning the cost of imported goods are likely to rise.

“This decision is a mistake that will harm citizens more than benefiting them and is only to satisfy traders,” said Hathem al-Barghathi, also in Benghazi.

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