According to BDL’s latest monetary report, the BOP recorded a deficit of $954.9M in the first two months of the year 2022, compared to a deficit of $751.2M over the same period last year. Accordingly, Net foreign Assets (NFAs) of BDL fell by $1,028.2M, as BDL has continued to make some intervention on Fx market through the “Sayrafa” rate while the NFAs of commercial banks increased by $73.3M in February 2022.
For a meaningful analysis, we examine the NFAs of commercial banks. For the month of February, the reduction in foreign assets was larger than the decrease in foreign liabilities. On the liabilities side, “Non-resident customers’ deposits” decreased by $61.30M, to reach $24.22B by February 2022. On the asset side, “Claim on non-resident customers” has decreased by $45.58M to reach $2.73B by February 2022, while “Claims on non-resident Financial sector” decreased by $25.79M to reach $4.53B by February 2022.
On a related note, BDL issued Circular 161 on 16 December 2021 which allows banks to sell dollars provided by BDL at the “Sayrafa” exchange rate. It was modified on 11January 2022 by setting no limits on the amount dollars sold by the banks. The impact of the circular was to reduce BDL FX reserves, but also to lower the parallel market rate close to “Sayrafa” rate at almost 24,000 LBP per USD.
Balance of Payments (BoP) by February (in $M)