Gulf investors enter Syrian banking sectors
Gulf investors have been awarded licences to open three banks in Syria, raising the stakes in a country that opened to private capital two years ago after decades of state control, officials and bankers have said.
Under a Syrian law passed in 2005, Islamic banks need a minimum capital of five billion Syrian pounds ($95 million) and foreign ownership is limited to a 49 per cent stake. The three newly-licenced banks intend to offer the remaining 51 per cent to Syrian shareholders.
Syrian officials said they hoped the banks would start operations as soon as possible.