- Title: Libyans buy foreign currency after government-imposed measures
- Date: 8th November 2018
- Summary: MISRATA, LIBYA (OCTOBER 28, 2018) (REUTERS) PEOPLE IN BANK QUEUING TO RECEIVE NEWLY-ISSUED BANK CARDS PEOPLE CHECKING NAMES ON LIST BANK TELLER BEHIND WINDOW AS PEOPLE LINING UP TO RECEIVE CARDS PEOPLE IN QUEUE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK'S MISRATA BRANCH, ALI SWAHILI, SAYING: "This really is a step towards reform in the country, and it is an excellent step because it helps decrease the value of the dollar in the parallel (black) market." VARIOUS OF BANK TELLER SEARCHING THROUGH CARDS ISSUED FOR CUSTOMERS VARIOUS OF BANK EMPLOYEE SEARCHING THROUGH STACK OF CARDS ON DESK (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK'S MISRATA BRANCH, ALI SWAHILI, SAYING: "I believe this is a step for everyone's benefit. It will limit price hikes because traders and other groups will be able to benefit from this new system, along with people studying abroad, people receiving medical treatment abroad. May be the results are not yet clear, but I think that as days pass, the results of this system will become apparent and with continuity people will begin to notice a decrease in the prices of some products." PEOPLE AT TELLER WINDOW VARIOUS OF TELLER COUNTING FOREIGN CURRENCY / HANDING MONEY TO CUSTOMER VARIOUS OF BANKNOTES TRIPOLI, LIBYA (OCTOBER 30, 2018) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SHOPPERS IN TRIPOLI MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHOPPER, MASAOUD ALAAEB, SAYING: "This limit of 10,000 dollars a year for each citizen will have a good impact on peoples' lives. But the mechanism of accessing these funds is difficult (due to the issuance of cards). They have to find another way to give people dollars, there should be a way in which the citizen can receive this money in cash or so." VARIOUS OF SHOPPERS AT CHECKOUT COUNTER PRICE OF PRODUCT DISPLAYED ON CASHIER'S MONITOR
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2018 11:33
- Keywords: Libya Economy Misrata currency foreign exchange
- Location: MISRATA, LIBYA
- City: MISRATA, LIBYA
- Country: Libya
- Topics: Currencies/Foreign Exchange Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00195NAUL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Libyans are filing into banks to receive cards the central bank has made mandatory for foreign currency transactions as the country seeks to combat black market.
The decision was among a series of measures taken by the central bank to help curb the influence of black market traders on foreign currency prices.
Customers eligible to apply for master cards can now purchase dollars electronically instead of physical bank note exchange.
Existing bank customers wishing to buy foreign currency filled out applications for bank cards to be able to cash in from an annual limit of 10,000 dollars.
The assistant director for the Misrata branch of Libya's National Commercial Bank, Ali Swahili, said the measures will help regulate foreign exchange proceedings.
"This really is a step towards reform in the country, and it is an excellent step because it helps decrease the value of the dollar in the parallel (black) market."
Traders, as well as people studying or seeking medical treatment abroad would benefit from the moves, he added.
But the mechanism looks too complicated for some. Shopping at a Tripoli market, Masoud Alaaeb urges the authorities to find other ways for people to receive money in cash.
Libya's internationally recognized government took another reform measure in September, when they imposed a fee on all hard currency transactions.
The move revalued the dinar to 3.9 versus the dollar compared with the official rate of around 1.4.
Officials hoped it will bridge the gap to the dominant black market, a source of corruption as armed groups with access to dollars at the official rate make huge profits through import scams.
The black market rate and economic reforms became urgent issues late in August, after armed groups clashed over access to public funds.
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