“Hide your yellow penny for your black day”: The market for gold lira and ounce is thriving


Joel Riachi-

The Lebanese are busy, in every crisis they are going through, to secure alternatives to help them pass the critical stages, and to cross with the least possible damage to another stage, and they are unanimous that it may not be better than its predecessors.

Economic concern is preceded by others in Lebanon during this period, as the stability of the economy in turn reflects stability on the living, service, and educational affairs of citizens and families.

It is no secret that the economic collapse leads to an increase in the crime rate of all kinds, as the attacks are based, some of them on the living distress, with which the gangs’ business is active.

In all the events that Lebanon has witnessed, starting from the unprecedented 17 October 2019 protests in the country’s history, to the monetary crisis resulting from the seizure of depositors’ money and the restriction of its payment in the national currency, the absence of cash dollars from the financial markets and the restriction of their availability on the black market, all the way to the repercussions of the port explosion Beirut, last August 4, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, Riad Salameh, hinted to stop subsidizing basic commodities such as fuel, medicines, flour and foodstuffs at the end of the year as a maximum, all of this increased the pressure on Lebanese citizens, and pushed them to take self-measures to protect their savings and what facilitates them from accessing their deposits , Down to ensuring that their strength and medicines are secured.

We are talking here about a class that was previously known as the middle class, and is now tending towards the poor, and its members struggle to avoid vertical collapse, and to withstand more so that they can overcome the most critical stage in the country’s history.

Many Lebanese are unanimously agreed that their cash savings available in their hands are all they own, in addition to real estate bonds that are considered a valuable guarantee that they can dispose of later in the event of an intensification of the crisis and further exacerbation.

The point of intersection between banknotes and real estate bonds is the precious metal or gold, which is currently witnessing a high demand for possession of it for several reasons.

In this context, Fadi Abboud, one of the family partners in a well-known jewelry store outside the capital Beirut, speaks to Al-Anbaa about a 90% stagnation in the gold market, indicating the absence of demand for jewelry due to adornment, and the desire of customers to buy ounces of different weights and pounds. Gold engraved drawing of King George V.

The 40-year-old reveals that people seek, through the purchase of these two types of gold, to protect their savings with “things that do not lose their value.” The majority want to get rid of the national currency, and exchange it for the yellow metal that can be liquefied at any time and place.

He elaborates on the expected rise in gold prices at the end of the year, and everyone is aware of that. The price of an ounce of gold currently ranges from the weight of 31 grams of the Swiss type in the range of $ 2040 after calculating a commission per ounce, added to its official price in the trading market. Whereas the price of the English lira is $ 450, and this is a low figure nowadays after it hit the $ 470 threshold three weeks ago.

Few of the Lebanese pay the price of gold with US dollar banknotes, to reduce the quantities stored in homes for several reasons, including fear of theft or exposing the houses to fire. Some resort to distributing their savings between dollar notes and gold minerals that do not lose their purchasing power even if their price falls in the trading markets.

This is what engineer A.S. He lives in the northern Matn district, and was encouraged by a number of his relatives and friends, “because gold is better packing, and it is not perishable like banknotes due to exposure to moisture or the arrival of rats to it and gnaw it. Perhaps the best way to protect banknotes from damage is to wrap them in aluminum foil, then with a nylon bag, and then with a cloth. As for the best storage conditions, it remains to put the banknotes in a glass jar and seal it.

Some, despite this, resorted to buying gold coins known as “half a kilogram”, whose price exceeds 32,000 dollars. However, this category is limited to those who chose to reduce their cash dollars, while the majority are interested in disposing of Lebanese banknotes.

The Lebanese used to repeat the crisis of “hiding the white shark until the black day,” that is, to the days of financial hardship. Often the color of the shark was yellow, compared to the gold that does not fade in the darkest days of the Lebanese life.

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