Lebanon's Central Bank tries to calm nerves amid crisis



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BEIRUT (AP) — The governor of Lebanon's Central Bank is pledging to safeguard the stability of the national currency and protect deposits.

Riad Salameh told reporters on Monday the bank will keep defending the currency peg, stable since 1997. He says there won't be any capital controls, an effort to calm nerves amid economic and financial turmoil.

Lebanon's financial troubles have worsened since nationwide economically-driven protests erupted last month. Depositors have rushed to withdraw their money in recent days, while the country's various lenders have imposed varying capital controls that differ from bank to bank, fueling the turmoil.

Though it's still pegged at 1,500 pounds to the dollar, the Lebanese pound is trading at up to 1,900 to the dollar on the black market, a devaluation of nearly 30% from the official rate.

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The Associated Press

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