According to a central bank statement, Lebanon’s central bank on Friday extended the agreement allowing banks to buy an unlimited number of US dollars on its Sayrafa exchange platform until the end of April.
The arrangement was first described in a circular that was released at the end of 2021 and has since been repeatedly renewed. Governor Riad Salameh stated earlier this month that in order to support the plummeting pound, the central bank would sell an infinite amount of US dollars at the cost of 90,000 pounds.
The apparent cooling of support raises questions over the impact the investigations could have on the wider political class, given the widely-held view that members of the ruling elite fear his downfall would have repercussions for them.
Salameh, 72, has been summoned for a hearing on Wednesday as part of Lebanon’s probe into whether he and his brother embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds, a claim at least five European countries are also investigating.
He denies the charges and says they are part of an attempt to scapegoat him for Lebanon’s historic financial crisis, which has destroyed the savings of generations since 2019.
Many blame Salameh along with ruling politicians, whose interests he long served as steward of the financial system.