By Sami Zaptia.
Lugano, 5 November 2017:
The Libyan dinar lost further value on the black market today, breaking the LD 9 to the US dollar mark. It has been hovering between LD 8 to 8.99 for most of the last three months.
A Tripoli-based black-market currency trader told Libya Herald today that in his view ‘‘there was no one main reason for the price hike – but a combination of factors. First, ‘‘the fighting in the Wirshefana region of Tripolitania was adding to the instability and uncertainty’’.
Secondly, he noted that ‘‘there was a shortage of hard currency being offered for sale on the market. The main traders seem to think that the dinar was going to lose more value in the short term and as a result they are holding on to whatever hard currency they have until the dinar falls further’’.
The dollar was selling at LD 9.05 cash and LD 13.00 by cheque. The Euro was LD 10.40 cash and LD 14.50 by cheque. The pound sterling was selling at LD 11.50 by cheque, the currency trader reported.
‘‘Despite these prices there was no hard currency on offer for sale. I had an order yesterday from a customer and it was hard work getting it together. Sourcing US $ 100,000 is usually easy. Millions would usually be pouring out of the (black) market. But in these last few days the (hard currency black) market has dried up’’, the currency trader said.
‘‘Most of the big (black market hard currency) Libyan businessmen are now operating from Istanbul where the real market price for large amounts has an additional premium of LD 0.07 to LD 0.10 to the prices I quoted you (above) for the local market.’’
‘‘The Libyan domestic market is now seen as a small market. It is left for small amounts. People who need to travel and seek medical healthcare abroad looking for US $ 20 to US $ 30,000 or so’’, he explained.