The US dollar crossed this week the 600-pound level in the Syrian currency market, which is increasingly slipping out of the control of the Central Bank.

Syria’s insurance market grew 23 percent last year, according to the industry’s regulator.

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.