BLOM (61)


This 2,200-word factsheet provides a profile of the Commercial Bank of Syria, the country's largest lender, whose history goes back to the Ottoman Empire and which is now under western sanctions.


The four representatives of the Lebanese Byblos Bank SAL (BYB) resigned from the board of its Syrian subsidiary this week, potentially paving the way for it to quit the country.


Lebanon’s Bank Audi will sell all shares of its Syrian subsidiary to Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi and quit the country, in the latest reversal to Syria’s pre-war economic liberalisation.


Two private Syrian banks owned partially by foreign investors have taken steps to rebrand, in a move to reduce the risk for foreign shareholders a few months after the enactment of the Caesar Act.


Blom Bank has said that it would not return to Syria unless western sanctions are lifted, the most explicit statement yet on the reluctance of Lebanese banks to operate in the Syrian market.


Byblos Bank Syria has announced the appointment of a new general manager.


Lebanon’s BLOM Bank has withdrawn its last representative in the board of its Syrian affiliate, further confirming the relative disengagement of Lebanese banks from the Syrian market.


Lebanon’s BLOM has said that it deconsolidated its Syrian operations in order to protect itself from international sanctions.


Updated on July 21, 2017: Syria’s private commercial banks, which saw last year their assets fall to a fraction of what they were in 2010 and now barely breakeven, are unable to finance any meaningful reconstruction drive.


Banque Bemo Saudi Fransi has entered talks to buy a controlling stake in Syria Gulf Bank, in the first such consolidation move since the liberalisation of Syria’s banking sector in 2004.


Following in the steps of two of its competitors, BLOM Bank, Lebanon’s second largest bank by the size of its assets, has deconsolidated its operations in Syria.


Byblos Bank has announced that it was writing off its Syria investment and deconsolidating its operations there.


Bank of Syria and Overseas has announced the appointment of a new general manager.


Abdallah Dardari, Syria’s former Deputy Prime Minister, provided an estimate for the economic cost of Syria’s reconstruction during a business forum in which many of Syria’s old business faces reappeared.


A large transaction on BSO shares was the only meaningful event last week in the Damascus Securities Exchange.


Byblos Bank Sal, the Lebanese mother company of Byblos Bank Syria, is increasing its stake in its Syrian affiliate.


Lebanese-managed Syrian banks lost USD 400 million since the beginning of the uprising, according to the head of the Lebanese central bank.


Capital Intelligence announced last week that it had withdrawn the sovereign credit ratings of Syria because of a lack of interest from its clients.


Capital Intelligence, a credit rating agency, said last week it had withdrawn its rating of Bank of Syria and Overseas, the only Syrian bank in its portfolio.


The Syrian Government has allowed BLOM Sal to own a majority stake in its Syrian subsidiary, BSO, provided the latter raises its capital to at least SYP 5 billion.


Arope Syria is the Syrian affiliate of Arope Insurance Sal from Lebanon. The two companies are part of the BLOM Group, which also runs Bank of Syria and Overseas.


Bank of Syria and Overseas is the Syrian affiliate of BLOM Sal, Lebanon's second largest commercial bank in terms of assets. BSO was the second private sector commercial bank to be established in Syria in January 2004. It had 27 branches across the country at the beginning of 2011, including 9 in Damascus.

Capital Intelligence, a credit rating agency specialized in emerging markets, has assigned ratings to Bank of Syria and Overseas, the first known Syrian commercial bank to be rated.

Bank Audi Sal has confirmed that it led a syndicate of 16 regional banks to provide a 7-year USD 340 million loan to the Syrian affiliate of Lafarge S.A., a French building materials company.


Fransabank-Syria launched officially its operations in Syria on April 20.


Seven new brokerage firms have received a license from the Syrian Financial regulator.


Bank Al-Sharq SA has elected its board of directors and appointed a general manager to run its operations in Syria.


Arope Syria and the Syrian Kuwaiti Insurance Company have published their un-audited mid-year financial statements.


The Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities has granted a preliminary license to two new brokerage firms.

Local private banks continue to post two-digit growth in all their main indicators, according to their mid-year financial statements.
Investment Dar has agreed to sell its 12.5 percent stake in Cham Bank to the Commercial Bank of Kuwait, according to press reports from the Gulf.

Following its Initial Public Offer, the shareholders of Fransabank Syria held their founding Assembly General and elected their Board of Directors.

Following the Initial Public Offer, the shareholders of Fransabank Syria held their founding Assembly General and elected their Board of Directors.


Byblos Bank Syria (BSS) has announced an improvement in all its key financial indicators in 2007.


Assets of Bank of Syria and Overseas, the country’s second largest private bank, rose to SYP 62.54 billion (USD 1.30 billion) at the end of last year, according to audited financial statements.
Syria and Overseas Financial Services (SOFS) has received a preliminary license to set-up a brokerage firm.

Arope Syria announced profits of SYP 4.59 million in 2007, its first full year of operations.


The total premium collected by private insurance firms in Syria reached SYP 425 million (USD 8.5 million) last year according to the Syrian Insurance Supervisory Commission


The Saudi Construction Products Holding Company (SCPHC), an affiliate of the Bin Laden Group, announced on January 14 the launch its Syrian subsidiary under the name of the Construction Products Holding Company-Syria (CPC) with a capital of USD 170 mil...


Private insurance companies will earn premiums of around SYP 200 million in 2006, their first year of activity, according to Mohammad Hussein, Minister of Finance. Mr Hussein was speaking during an insurance forum held in Damascus between November 13-14

Adib Mayaleh, the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria, has announced a new set of measures that will enter into effect early next year, during a major bank conference held in Damascus between November 3-5.

The four insurance companies that had received a license from the Syrian Government in January of this year will start offering their services in the coming few days.


Deposits in private banks have continued to rise significantly in 2005 and reached around SYP 75 billion (USD 1.5 billion) as at 31 December 2005.


Four of the insurance companies that had received a preliminary license from the Insurance Supervisory Committee (ISC) last year have now been given a formal license by the Syrian Government to operate in the local market.