By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 14 April 2017:
The dinar has recovered significantly on the black market following Tuesday’s announcement by the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) that it would make available $550 million in hard currency to pay for foods imports in the run-up to Ramadan.
The lack of letters of credit to food importers has been seen as one of the main reasons reason for the recent collapse of the currency.
The black market is officially closed today and tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, but dealers in Tripoli contacted by the Libya Herald have quoted between LD 7.50 and LD 8.40 for $1. In Benghazi, the price is between LD 8.10 and LD 8.45. In Misrata, the dinar-dollar rate over the weekend is LD 8.90 to the dollar to buy and, if selling dollars, LD 8.50 to the dollar.
On Tuesday, just before the CBL made its announcement, the dinar was nudging LD 10 to the dollar. It then strengthened to LD 8.90 before the black market closed that day in Tripoli and then just over LD 8 the next day. There have been reports that it rebounded to LD 6.30 on Thursday but no dealers were said to be actually trading at that price.
Uncertainty remains in the market amid fears that the CBL may not deliver on its promises, and significant fluctuations are expected in the coming days.
Meanwhile the Central Bank of Libya reported on Thursday that up until 12 April, $75 million had been been requested and approved as part of the agreement permitting individual Libyans to buy up to $400 at the official rate of LD 1.43 to the dollar. Although the agreement supposedly came into effect on 1 February, most commercial banks have only started implementing it in recent days.