Tripoli Bans Imports to Halt Dinar Decline

Libya's Tripoli-basesd government has banned the import of 32 goods for six months, according to a report from Reuters.

The ban includes cars, carpets, construction materials such as cement, fruit juices, energy drinks and harissa, a hot pepper paste.

But the ban was intended to halt the decline of the dinar,  which is now trading at over 2 dinars to the dollar on the parallel market, compared with the official rate of 1.3.

Husni Bey, head of one of the biggest private firms and importers, said that a currency devaluation is a must sooner or later, adding that a rate of 2.5 would be more realistic.

He said the ban will save $2 billion annually in import funding, but would paralyze the construction industry, which makes up 65 percent of the private business.

(Source: Reuters)

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