BEIRUT: The overnight interbank rate for Lebanese pounds fell to 15 per cent on Monday thanks to increased liquidity, two banking sources said, after last week spiking to 75 per cent, its highest rate since a political crisis last year.

A third banking source said the rate was between 10 and 15 per cent on Monday. “It’s calming down for the time being. Last week it was a bit squeezed,” one of the sources said.

A range of factors were cited to explain last week’s spike, including that banks were seeking to keep their assets at a high level ahead of the end of the year, and that some individuals may be converting pounds to dollars, boosting demand for pounds.

The rate reached 117 per cent in November last year when Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri unexpectedly resigned during a visit to Saudi Arabia — a step he later rescinded. (Reuters)