The Ministry of Finance unblocked this week the assets of Mourtada Dandashi, a Syrian investor and board director at Byblos Bank Syria, only a few weeks after it had frozen them.
The Central Bank of Syria devalued further the price of the Syrian Pound which crossed the level of 82 pound per dollar on Thursday and of 83 pounds per dollar on Saturday as the differential with the black market rate stands at some 15 percent.
SIIB, an Islamic lender, rose to become Syria’s largest private sector bank last year, preliminary data show.
The volumes exchanged last week in the Damascus Securities Exchange increased to SYP 35 million over trading in financial stocks.
An unusually large number of listed companies were traded in the Damascus bourse last week as the market index resumed its decline.
The assets of Mourtada Dandashi, a Syrian investor in the financial and real estate sectors, have been frozen by the Syrian government on claims that he finances “armed terrorist groups,” the expression the authority use to describe opposition activists and rebel forces.
The Damascus stock market index posted two successive gains on Tuesday and Wednesday to close the week on a positive note.
The Central Bank of Syria is trading for the first time the US dollar at above 80 pounds, while the value of the Syrian currency in the black market has remained stable for around a month.
HSBC is closing the accounts of some of its Syrian clients across the Middle East region the bank said.
Syria’s DWX stock market index fell 0.83 percent this week to close at 775.16 with one stock representing more than 60 percent of traded volumes.
After two weeks of gains the stock market index resumed its decline as none of the traded stocks gained in the week’s three sessions.
International Bank for Trade and Finance has reported that the equivalent of USD 9.5 million in cash had been stolen from its vaults, the largest reported fraud case in Syria’s banking sector since its liberalisation a decade ago.
The Real Estate Bank posted only a sharp decline in its customers’ deposits and credit portfolio last year, according to its general manager, although the bank’s real financial position remains unclear.
Two financial firms held together more than half of the brokerage market share in the stock exchange last year as the volume of trading fell 82 percent on an annual basis, according to data published by the DSE.
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Syria: Progress & Potential
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