The value of trading and of the main market index of the Damascus Securities Exchange continued to increase markedly in April.

The US dollar has continued to gain ground slowly in the Syrian foreign currency market and is gradually closing on the 600-pound level.

While the Panama Papers did not reveal anything unexpected on Syria, the investigation over them will likely complicate further the attempts by officials and regime cronies to hide their money.

The first quarter of 2016 has seen a return of investors to the Damascus Securities Exchange, although in real terms the price of stocks and the trading value remain well below their pre-uprising levels.

The continued decline of the Syrian pound is creating rising tensions in the market and pushing many Syrian traders to withhold selling their products.

Foreign currency receipts in 2015 represented only 15 percent of outlays, the Syrian Minister of Finance said, leading to a significant balance of payments deficit.

The Syrian Government has established a credit guarantee institution to support lending to SMEs.

The Syrian Pound is rapidly losing ground against the dollar and is likely to fall below the 500 mark in the coming days.

The announcement of a Russian withdrawal from Syria has caused panic in the Syrian foreign exchange market leading to a significant drop in the value of the Syrian pound.

In dollar terms, the assets of Syria’s private sector banks declined by 25 percent on annual basis last year.