Last updated: 5 November, 2013

Syria pound surges against dollar

The severely weakened Syrian pound has surged against the dollar in recent days, a trader said Tuesday, with experts pointing to central bank intervention and developments favourable to the regime.

“The dollar was being exchanged on Tuesday at 115 to 123 Syrian pounds, while it was worth more than 160 pounds last week,” the trader told AFP.

He said he was unable to explain the reasons, but the Syria Report financial news site attributed it to “the intervention in the market of the Central Bank of Syria and political and military developments that have favoured the Syrian authorities.”

Last week, loyalists retook Sfira, southeast of Aleppo, reopening the regime’s supply lines to Syria’s second city.

Since the eruption of an anti-regime revolt in March 2011, Syria’s pound has depreciated severely.

The greenback was being traded at 50 pounds when the uprising erupted, but in March 2011, but its value soared to more than 300 pounds this past summer.

The central bank has also cut the number of currency traders and taken steps that include refusing to sell dollars to two members of the same family, the Syria Report said.

Syrians are allowed to purchase up to $10,000 a year, but no more than $1,000 a month.