Syrian Central Bank devalues pound

Published December 7th, 2011 - 07:12 GMT

The Syrian Central Bank has decided to devalue the official Syrian pound by 10%. On Tuesday, the dollar was priced at 54 pounds. 
In addition, the Bank also approved a new mechanism for intervention in the foreign exchange market. It will be publicly announced next Sunday. These measures were declared amid the strengthening of US currency in the black market to a rate of SP 62. This new value represents a devaluation of about 17% during the past week. 
It is noteworthy that the exchange rate prior to the Syrian crisis (mid-March) was at the level of SP 46 pounds per dollar. This means the value of the Syrian currency fell by some 35% since the start of the revolt against Bashar Assad's regime.
The recent decline comes days after the announcement of financial sanctions against Damascus by the League of Arab States, the European Union and Turkey. These sanctions include among others, ban on dealing with the Central Bank of Syria, full halt of commercial deals with Syrian governmental organizations, freezing of assets of the Syrian government, and halt of all commercial dealings with the Commercial Bank of Syria. 
Press sources conveyed that the first step taken by the Syrian central bank was to stop selling the dollar and to act against unlicensed foreign exchange operations. These new measures are aimed to cover the gaps between the official exchange rate and the black market exchange rate. Observers expect the Syrian pound to drop to SP74 per dollar. (Source:

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