Syria's main commercial bank introduced euro notes and coins for the first time on Tuesday, the official SANA news agency said.
According to a source at the Ministry of Economy, the delay in issuing the new reformed financial law will have no incidence on the setting up of the first private banks in the country.
Mustafa Miro, Syria's Prime Minister, said that the International Monetary Fund agreed on Syria's current development program and saw no particular reason for privatising the public sector.
The Syrian president, Bashar el-Assad, has sent back to parliament the recently voted financial reform law.
The state-owned real estate bank is to extend its network of ATMs following the success of its "Syriacard" ATM card.
The Commercial Bank of Syria has set Monday, January 7, as the last day it will buy back the former European currencies and convert them into Euros.
97 percent of loans funded by Syria's Industrial bank go to the private sector, with a mere 3 percent going to the public industrial sector.
The rate of the Syrian pound to the Euro, the new European currency, will be fixed according to the rate of the pound to the US dollar.
On January 1, 2002, the Euro, the common currency of the 12 members of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) will begin circulating.
The Syrian parliament voted yesterday, the new law reforming the financial sector of the country, said SANA, the state news agency.
Syria's parliament on Thursday passed a 2002 budget projecting expenditure of SYP356 billion (US$7.66 billion), a 10 percent increase on the previous year's spending, reported the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
The Finance Committee of the Syrian Parliament has started discussions on the new law governing the Central Bank, said Al Sharq al Awsat.
According to Al Hayat, the Syrian authorities froze tens of millions of dollars of assets held by Iraqi state organisms.
Syria will have a large share of the EUR6.4 billion allocated by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the Mediterranean countries in the six coming years, reported Al Hayat.
Investors from the Gulf have expressed their interest in setting up an Islamic bank in Syria following the passing of a law allowing private capital to invest in the banking sector, reported Al Hayat.


Investment Facilities at the Industrial City of Adra
Damascus Chamber of Commerce
Computer & Technology Show
Boulevard Damascus