Portuguese / Spanish / English

Syria lira records unprecedented losses against US dollar

Syrian banknotes in Qamishli, Syria on 2 May 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]
Syrian banknotes in Qamishli, Syria on 2 May 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]

The Syrian lira hit a record low on Sunday after the price of one US dollar increased by 50 lira costing over 5,000 lira, Arabi21 reported.

The site quoted Syrian economist Samir Al-Taweel saying he expected the Syrian currency to continue its losses, citing a number of reasons including the Lebanese bank strike following a series of armed hold-ups by clients demanding their savings.

Al-Taweel explained that the Syrian regime depends on Lebanese banks to finance imports to Syria, noting that the suspension of work in Lebanese banks has affected the performance of the Syrian and Lebanese liras.

He added that the Syrian pound was also affected by the global increase in food and oil prices coupled with the absence of economic measures aimed at stabilising the currency.

Al-Taweel said the depletion of the country's resources due to the war has also weakened the pound's value.

READ: Syria war has cost $650bn, poverty rate hits 90%  

For his part, economic observer Munther Muhammad noted that the price of the US dollar has recently increased against all currencies, however he noted that this does not "entirely" justify all the losses that hit the lira.

"Rather, it seems that the Syrian regime's debt has recently increased as a result of the rise in import prices, coupled with the severe shortage of foreign currency reserves and their depletion during the years of the revolution," he explained.

"The Syrian regime's economic system is powerless, and it does not possess any useful economic tool that enables it to control the pound exchange rate with the exception of security tools, like preventing the circulation of the US dollar and prosecuting dealers, although these policies have proven to be unsuccessful," he added.

The Taif economic website said the Central Bank of Syria has the ability to intervene, but it is managing this matter very carefully amid talks of a global financial and economic crisis before the end of 2022.

The pound had traded at 47 to the dollar before protests against President Bashar Al-Assad's authoritarian rule erupted in March 2011.

READ: Syria's conflict has made a 10-year-old his family's only breadwinner

Asia & AmericasLebanonMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
Show Comments
Show Comments