By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 29 March 2017:
When for the first time the dinar passed seven to the US dollar yesterday, Nawasi Brigade militiamen closed down black market traders in Tripoli’s old city.
After the traders had been forced to shut down in the suq in the Tripoli’s Old City, their fellow money changers in the central Dahra district also closed their doors.
On several previous occasions when the dinar-dollar rate has hit new highs, Nasawi have blamed traders rather than market forces, and made arrests.
Today, Wednesday, the market was largely closed and the rate was reported to have recovered slightly to around 6.85.
“This was due to the lack of demand today”, a leading currency dealer explained to the Libya Herald. “Only some internal deals have been done among dealers themselves.”
He said that expected the price of the dollar to go to the LD 6.5, which is where it stood before the closure of the pipeline from the Sharara and El-Fil oil fields two days ago. However, in the medium term it is feared it will drop again to LD 7, and beyond unless action is taken by the Central Bank of Libya to ease currency restrictions.