Corporate Syria: Banking and Finance 2009

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 Syria’s financial industry has posted another year of significant growth across all sectors, according to the latest Syria Report business guide, Corporate Syria: Banking and Finance 2009.

The global financial and economic crisis appears not to have impacted significantly the industry, the report says.

Hence, the assets of the banking sector as a whole rose by 7.7 percent in 2008 year-on-year, while assets of private banks alone increased by some 28.7 percent. Similarly, deposits increased by 15.7 percent (36 percent for the private sector) and lending rose by 37.4 percent (83.6 percent for the private sector).

Meanwhile, the insurance sector grew by 33 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year.

However, the landmark event of the last twelve months was the launch of the Damascus Securities Exchange. Syria’s first stock market in decades saw the light after years of debates and in the midst of the most severe global financial crisis in decades.

This years’ edition of the report provides a comprehensive overview of Syria’s financial industry and has been significantly expanded compared to previous years.

Through sixty pages Corporate Syria: Banking and Finance 2009 provides feature stories, more than 26 tables and charts, interviews with key decision makers, a profile of all the market players (13 private commercial banks, 14 insurance companies and 6 brokerage firms), a summary of the main regulations approved in the last twelve months and an expanded directory. The report also includes a useful index of all the financial institutions covered in the report. (See list of contents below)


Feature stories

Banking Sector Defies Global Crisis

Lending Expands Significantly

Stock Market Sees Light

Insurance Sector Grows Across All Segments



·         Mohammad Hussein, Minister of Finance

·         Adib Mayaleh, Governor of the Central Bank of Syria

·         Mohammad Jleilati, Executive Director of the Damascus Securities Exchange

·         Amr Azhari, Vice-Chairman, Bank of Syria and Overseas

·         Jean Lorenz Ehrentrant, CEO, First MicroFinance Institution Syria

·         Fady Obeid, Head of Retail, Bank Audi Syria

·         Omar Al-Ghraoui, COO, Bemo Saudi Fransi Finance

·         Mazen Mourtada, Executive Board Member, Damascus Securities Exchange

·         Fouad Hannoun, Executive General Manager, Arabia Insurance Syria


Tables and Graphs

Assets of the Syrian banking sector

Customers' deposits in the Syrian banking sector

Lending by the Syrian banking sector

Assets of private sector banks

Deposits in private sector banks

Assets of public sector banks

Deposits in public sector banks

Loan to Deposit Ratio for private sector banks

Number of branches of private sector banks

Rankings of banks

Graph: Lending according to the ownership status of banks

Lending according to the sectors of activity

Lending according to the type of customers

Credit facilities by private sector banks

Activity of the Damascus Securities Exchange

Rankings of companies listed in the Damascus Securities Exchange

Data and ratios of companies listed in the Damascus Securities Exchange

Graph: Market share of brokerage firms

Graph: Performance of SIC and private insurance companies

Graph: Insurance Market segments growth

Graph: Insurance market in 2008

Insurance premiums per market segment

Insurance market segments growth

Insurance premiums in 2008

Rankings of insurance companies

Growth rates of insurance companies


Short description of nine key pieces of legislation

1.    Central Bank Eases Limits on Interest Rates

2.    Central Bank Loosens Restrictions on Foreign Currency Transactions

3.    Decree Widens List of Companies Allowed to Open Brokerage Firm

4.    Central Banks Provides Liquidity to Banks

5.    Foreign Banks Allowed to Open Representative Offices in Syria

6.    Central Bank Lowers Legal Reserves to Support Industrial Sector

7.    Penalties and Fees on Bad debts Written Off

Central Bank Issues Guidelines for Financing of BOT projects

9.    Government extends Areas of Compulsory Insurance

Profiles of financial sector companies

Profile of Syria’s 13 private commercial banks, 6 brokerage firms and 14 insurance companies. The profiles of the banks include a historical background, their strategic shareholders as well as all their key financial data (assets, deposits, credits, operating expenses, net income, net profits, shareholders’ equity), key ratios (loan to deposit, return on equity, return on assets) and share analysis (number of shares and of shareholders, face value per share, earnings per share, P/E ratio).


Listing of 67 financial companies and institutions based in Syria, in the Middle east and around the world.