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Syrian regime to restrict exchange market amid Pound's free-fall

The Syrian regime will impose new procedures to halt the free fall of its pound, seeking to tighten the noose on the exchange market  amid accusations of deliberate plunging of the currency rate by dealers.

Syria Stocks, a leading Facebook page delivering daily exchange rates, revealed that Bashar al-Assad's government would restrict the transactions between two leading licensed exchange dealers, al-Qadmous and al-Haram.

Also, the liquidity movement will be limited between regime-held areas where the transfer amount between provinces should not exceed ($2500-3000) about 1 million SYP and prevent people from carrying more than ($15,000) 5 million SYP per vehicle between provinces.

In the black market, Traders pay 4,000 SYP to buy one dollar on the street while the official rate for one dollar is 1250 SYP.
The Syrian pound has been hit by the ripple effect of currency woes in neighboring Lebanon with which it has extensive business and banking ties, dealers and bankers said.

It has fallen by around 40% this year alone.

The Lebanese crisis has choked a major source of dollars for Syria, further hurting a currency suffering from years of Western sanctions and a devastating 10-year-old conflict.

The Syrian pound’s last tumble happened last summer when it hit a psychological barrier of 3,000 to the dollar over fears that tougher U.S. sanctions would worsen the economy.

The pound’s fall has hit business activity, with many merchants and trading firms reluctant to sell or buy in a country where many turn to dollar savings to preserve wealth.

The pound’s collapse has driven up inflation and aggravated hardship as Syrians struggle to afford food, power and other basics. The pound had traded at 47 to the dollar before protests against Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.

Reuters, Eqtsad

Zaman Al Wasl
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