Syria plans to establish private banks in addition to seting up a stock exchange. Economy Minister Mohammed Imadi stated on Monday, August 21, that it would help "mobilize savings, facilitate investment operations and attract Arab and foreign capital."
Imadi asked parliamentary committees dealing with constitutional and legislative affairs and financial regulation, to accelerate the necessary studies needed for the establishment of private commercial banks and a national stock market.
In the early 1960s, Syria nationalized all private banks, though only recently the government allowed three international banks to open branches in its free-zone area.
Imadi added that private banks in Syria would operate again "as part of a complete project that would permit all to work under specific conditions."
The proposed stock exchange will function as a public economic institution, with operations backed and supervised by the government.
Syria hopes to encourage companies and citizens to invest in corporate stocks — with the use of clear company reports, plans and financial results that will facilitate stock and investment selection.
The proposed stock exchange is part of the gradual opening up of the Syrian economy, recently undertaken by President Bashar Al-Assad. — (Albawaba-MEBG)