Last updated: 17 November, 2011

Syrian unrest weighs on local currency

Months of civil unrest weighed on Syria’s currency sending it above 50 Syrian pounds to the dollar for the first time since civil unrest began in March, reports said on Thursday.

“The dollar made important gains against the pound (on Wednesday) according to official and unofficial data, passing the 50 pound mark for the first time since the beginning of the crisis,” the Al-Watan daily reported.

According to a daily brief by the Syrian Central Bank, on Wednesday the dollar rose to 50.06 SYP from 49.98 SYP on Tuesday and to 67.75 pounds against the euro.

The rise was “within acceptable limits” and due to dollar gains against the euro, central bank Governor Adeeb Myaleh told government newspaper Tishrin.

The central bank would do whatever necessary to defend the pound, Myaleh added.

Syria’s currency has lost more than 10 percent against the dollar since civil unrest began, bringing a wave of economic sanctions from Western countries.

On Wednesday, the Arab League threatened its own sanctions, giving Syria three days to stop its bloody repression of the popular protests.