Yemen C.Bank takes steps to ease pressure on citizens amid currency crisis

Yemeni youths flash the "v for victory" sign in Crater, on September 6, 2018, as protesters demonstrate against inflation and the rise of living costs. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Yemen C.Bank takes steps to ease pressure on citizens amid currency crisis

  • The governor explained that the $62 million from the Saudi deposit
  • The Yemeni rial has lost more than half its value against the US dollar since the start of the war

ADEN: The Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen, Dr. Mohammed Mansour Zammam, said on Monday that a number of steps have been taken to ease pressure on currency markets and provide basic commodities to citizens at appropriate prices in different governorates.

“The Saudi minister of finance approved 23 applications valued at over $62 million made by Yemeni commercial banks,” Zammam said in a statement issued by the Central Bank.

The governor explained that the $62 million from the Saudi deposit. Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in March to deposit $2 billion into the account of Yemen’s central bank, under the instruction of King Salman.

Zammam said that funds and basic commodities were provided to Yemeni commercial banks for amounts of less than $200,000 as well as direct funding from the Central Bank in coordination with the government and the Economic Committee.

The Central Bank has also taken executive measures to commission Yemeni commercial banks to sell $2000 to citizens leaving Aden or Seiyun. Commercial banks will be compensated for such amounts by the Central Bank upon receipt of claims and currencies.

The statement stated that facing the economic crisis requires a combination of all governmental and societal efforts and assured that no institution, ministry or entity will face the dangers of economic collapse.

The Yemeni rial has lost more than half its value against the US dollar since the start of the war in 2015 between the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, based in the south the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls the north including the capital, Sanaa.


Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

Updated 19 September 2018
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Lebanon president: negative rumors about the economy harm country

  • Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election
  • “The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy," Aoun said

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s currency is not in danger and rumors about the economy are causing harm, President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday, amid concern that a political deadlock has blocked urgent reforms and left the heavily indebted country vulnerable.
Lebanon has been without a government for four months since a national election. The central bank has issued repeated assurances about the soundness of the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar and the size of its foreign currency reserves, in response to speculation over the currency’s future.
“The Lebanese pound is not in danger and Lebanon is not on the road to bankruptcy. The economic situation is difficult but the things being spread as rumors are harming Lebanon,” Aoun said, in comments published by his office.
“We do not deny that there is a crisis,” Aoun said, but added that the country was working to address it.
Lebanon had the world’s third highest debt-to-GDP ratio, at over 150 percent, at the end of 2017. The International Monetary Fund wants to see immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment to improve debt sustainability.
The failure of politicians to form a government needed to undertake the necessary reforms following the parliamentary election in May has added to concern for the economy.
Leaders from across the political spectrum have in recent months said the political stalemate is harming the economy and a government needs to be formed. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri this month said the country was in “intensive care” and the economic situation was “very dangerous.”
While politicians have stopped short of saying the peg is in danger, some economic analysts abroad have been considering the possibility of a devaluation.
“Lebanon’s ongoing political stalemate has renewed market concerns over the country’s frail balance sheets which could propel the government to devalue the Lebanese Pound ... Under this scenario, the authorities would find it increasingly challenging to service their large foreign currency debts,” Japan’s MUFG Bank said in a report on Wednesday.