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Dollar shortage crisis in Lebanon spills into Syria

The Syrian pound's value plummeted against the US dollar after the Lebanese pound depreciated.
Women use ATMs at Blom bank in Beirut, Lebanon November 1, 2019. Picture taken through glass. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic - RC1F45458210
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BEIRUT — An economic and financial crisis looms over Lebanon, the third-highest indebted country in the world in terms of debt-to-gross domestic product ratio, which stood at 151% in 2018.

“Given the large public debt … [Lebanon's] interest payments now exceed 9% of GDP,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a July report. The IMF also said, “Deposit growth in 2018 was the lowest since 2005 and the BdL [Bank of Lebanon] reserves have now decreased by around $6 billion since early 2018.”

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