The gas pipeline that will eventually link Egypt to Syria will be partly funded by Arab financial institutions.
The five Lebanese banks established in Syria's free trade zones are not witnessing any activity, almost two years after starting their operations.
Lebanon's balance of payments reached a record deficit of USD1.17 billion in 2001.
Societe Generate, one of France's leading commercial banks, is studying with the Syrian government the project of setting up a banking network in the country.
Jean-Louis Mattei, in charge of International Relations at Societe Generale, a leading French commercial bank, met on Tuesday in Damascus Mustapha Miro, Syria's PM.
A delegation from Japan's Bank for International Cooperation will be visiting Damascus this month to finalize the legal aspects of Japan's USD70 million financing of Lattakia's port extension.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide loans of more than 165 million euros (USD142 million) to finance projects in Syria.
Hermes, Germany's export credit insurer has resumed its cover of the Syrian market.
Industrialists have forwarded a request to the Ministry of Industry, to drop interest rates charged on credits allocated to them.
Syria's main commercial bank introduced euro notes and coins for the first time on Tuesday, the official SANA news agency said.
According to a source at the Ministry of Economy, the delay in issuing the new reformed financial law will have no incidence on the setting up of the first private banks in the country.
Mustafa Miro, Syria's Prime Minister, said that the International Monetary Fund agreed on Syria's current development program and saw no particular reason for privatising the public sector.
The Syrian president, Bashar el-Assad, has sent back to parliament the recently voted financial reform law.
The state-owned real estate bank is to extend its network of ATMs following the success of its "Syriacard" ATM card.
The Commercial Bank of Syria has set Monday, January 7, as the last day it will buy back the former European currencies and convert them into Euros.


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