Syrian Economist: Dierct Foreign Exchange is a Step in the Right Direction
A Syrian leading economist has said that direct currency foreign exchange at the Syrian banks is a courageous step in the right direction.
Nabil Sukkar was commenting on the high demand for the US dollar in the Syrian market after the authorities allowed citizens to buy hard currency at the state-owned Syrian Commercial Bank.
“Correct long term measures usually start with the first step,” Sukkar added.
The Syrian Commercial Bank started exchanging foreign currencies for Syrian citizens as of the 20th of this month at the rates of the prices prevailing in neighboring markets. For example, the quotes issued by the bank since the application of this new method priced the dollar at 50 Syrian liras, while it had ranged between 46 to 48 before. As a result, one teller at the bank sold in one day $20,000.
However, skeptics have said that despite the advantages of the move, it remains unsuitable as it has turned the Syrian Commercial Bank into a market for exchanging currencies.
According to a Syrian economist cited by the state-run Al Thawra newspaper two days ago, one of the duties of the Commercial Bank is to supervise the money movement in the local market and it should not hesitate to take any actions to prevent the rise in foreign currency prices.