Lebanon central bank plans new exchange platform via Bloomberg: Al-Arabiya

Lebanon central bank plans new exchange platform via Bloomberg: Al-Arabiya
The introduction of a new currency exchange platform through Bloomberg would coincide with the phasing out of the central banks own exchange Sayrafa.
1 min read
06 September, 2023
Lebanon's central bank had created Sayfara as a currency exchange platform following the collapse of the Lebanese pound [Getty]

Lebanon's central bank is seeking introduce a new currency exchange platform through Bloomberg, acting central bank governor Wassim Mansouri said on Monday in an interview with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television.

The central bank had already said it would phase out its own exchange platform, known as Sayrafa, and was considering Bloomberg as a substitute following concerns about Sayrafa's lack of transparency and governance.

"On Wednesday, based on a request from the central bank, the cabinet's agenda will include the establishment of an international exchange platform," Mansouri said, adding that it would be through Bloomberg's trading platform.

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Sayrafa was set up in May 2021, 18 months into Lebanon's economic meltdown. It was widely recognised as a way for the central bank, also known as BdL, to stabilise the Lebanese pound, which nevertheless continued to decline.

Lebanese authorities and international institutions have criticised Sayrafa for its lack of transparency, unsustainability and the opportunity it created for arbitrage, particularly as the gap grew between Sayrafa's and the parallel market.

The World Bank said buy-side Sayrafa participants may have made as much as $2.5 billion through arbitrage trades.