Last month, an Iranian private insurance company announced that its first foreign branch will soon be established in Syria. Having obtained the necessary approvals, Mellat Insurance Company (MIC) – a US-sanctioned company that belongs to the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order, a parastatal organisation under the direct control of Iran’s Supreme Leader – will be the first Iranian company to enter Syria’s insurance sector.
Syrian microfinance institutions have recently converted into banks that provide various financial services, including microlending, to clients. Meanwhile, official data reveals the industry is performing modestly after emerging nearly two decades ago.
International Financial Center has become the latest Syrian brokerage firm to announce the suspension of its operations, confirming the continuous winding down of the involvement of regional banks in the local market.
Syria’s main stock index rose 24.4% during the first half of 2021, with the value of shares traded during that period almost five times as high as last year.
The main index of the Syrian stock market rose 3.66 percent last month in thin trade as the exchange launched online trading for the first time.
The governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) has said traders are permitted to conduct transactions in foreign currency, in comments that were interpreted by businessmen and local media as a step towards a dollarization of the economy after the pound fell to record lows earlier this year.

Updated April 07/2021:The combined credit portfolios of all microfinance lenders in Syria reached SYP 28.6 billion last year, while deposits reached SYP 16.9 billion, according to statistics released by the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) for the first time, highlighting the government’s growing interest in this sector.