Caesar Act (67)

14-04-2021

Container traffic at Lattakia port fell by 25 percent last year, according to official data from the private-sector company managing the terminal, in an indication of how heavily the coronavirus pandemic has weighed on economic activity in Syria.

14-04-2021

The U.S. Department of Treasury has sought to reassure humanitarian agencies operating in Syria after growing criticism that sanctions designed to punish the regime are throttling aid to an increasingly impoverished population.

31-03-2021

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.

24-03-2021

A Kuwaiti securities firm is set to acquire a 22 percent stake in Syria’s sanctioned Cham Bank in a rare case of fresh foreign investment in the country’s banking sector.

17-03-2021

The Syrian pound has fallen to another historical low after crossing the SYP 4,000 threshold against the dollar on the black market despite a renewed crackdown by the government on foreign exchange dealers and speculators.

03-03-2021

Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad has ratified a loan agreement with the Export-Bank of Malaysia for the financing of sewage and water projects by a Malaysian company, in a rare instance of foreign involvement in the country’s wartime economy.

03-03-2021

Inflation hit a record 133.7 percent in Syria last July, the largest year-on-year increase in decades in the prices of commodities and services, according to recently released official data.

10-02-2021

Syrian businessman Nader Qalei, a prominent member of the Sunni-Damascene business elite and regime supporter, died in Beirut last week after suffering from symptoms of Covid-19, local media reported.

10-02-2021

The Syrian pound has plummeted to its weakest levels against the US dollar in history, ranging between SYP 3,270 to SYP 3,300 per dollar in the black market.

13-01-2021

The final months of 2020 saw an unprecedented rate of demolitions targeting so-called “building violations” in the form of an organised campaign that began in Hama governorate, and then expanded to Damascus Countryside, Quneitra, Suweida and Deir-ez-Zor. Even during the winter holidays, provincial councils mobilised and continued to demolish buildings into New Year’s Eve, implementing what pro-government websites described as “strict orders” from a high-level political authority.

06-01-2021

The United States blacklisted the Central Bank of Syria at the end of last year, adding pressure on the Syrian government as it tries to maintain its fractured economy.

06-01-2021

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.

25-11-2020

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.

25-11-2020

The Syrian pound has renewed its sharp decline and is once again nearing the level of 3,000 pounds to the US dollar it crossed this summer before making a modest recovery.

18-11-2020

The Central Bank of Syria said that it raised SYP 101.6 billion from its latest issuance of certificates of deposit (CDs), but it once again faced a lukewarm response from local banks.

11-11-2020

The U.S. administration has added several new Syrian individuals and institutions to its sanctions list, confirming a recent acceleration in its drive to blacklist Syrian business and political actors.

11-11-2020

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has sought to place blame for Syria’s economic crisis on Syrians who transferred their money to Lebanese banks, portraying these transfers as a major factor alongside sanctions and other fallout from the conflict.

11-11-2020

ATMs are once again partially operating in Syria after new payment companies affiliated with the regime were established, about five months after the sudden withdrawal of the main ATM operator from the market.

14-10-2020

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Economy boosted the price of unsubsidised petrol by nearly half last week, possibly paving the way for further price increases after the minister suggested subsidies should be eliminated altogether.

23-09-2020

Syria is seeing a twin supply crisis of both bread and oil, which is generating rising tensions among the population and highlighting the dysfunction of the government.

09-09-2020

UPDATED on September 09, 2020: A Kuwaiti-listed company is divesting from a leading Syrian bank, reportedly to the benefit of the rising Ibrahim family.

09-09-2020

The visit of a high-level Russian delegation to Damascus may signal Moscow’s intent to accelerate its access to lucrative economic deals in Syria. Opportunities remain rare and incentives low, however.

26-08-2020

New sanctions imposed on Syrian individuals by the United States could disrupt the MTN Group’s divestment from the country.

05-08-2020

An American company has signed a contract with the Syrian Democratic Forces to develop oil production and marketing in northeastern Syria and has received a sanctions waiver from the U.S. administration.

05-08-2020

Prices and trading volumes fell in the Damascus Securities Exchange last month as Syriatel was removed from one of the exchange’s two indices.

29-07-2020

The U.S. Administration has blacklisted Hafez Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Assad’s son, as part of a new list of names put under sanctions.

15-07-2020

An attempt by two Syrian businessmen to lift sanctions imposed on them by the European Union failed after their appeal was rejected by an EU court this month.

01-07-2020

The Damascus Countryside governorate has granted a 3.5-hectare property to an unidentified investor as part of a contract to build an alternative-energy bus station outside the capital. But the plan does not seem realistic in light of technical and logistical constraints.

01-07-2020

The government has once again extended the bidding deadlines for six power projects after failing to attract contractors and funding. However, two small turbines in Banias and Deir-ez-Zor have been rehabilitated.

01-07-2020

The Damascus Countryside governorate has granted a 3.5-hectare property to an unidentified investor as part of a contract to build an alternative-energy bus station outside the capital. But the plan does not seem realistic in light of technical and logistical constraints.

24-06-2020

The Central Bank of Syria has raised SYP 74.3 billion from its latest certificates of deposit issue, while some banks are restricting access to cash.

24-06-2020

A high-ranking delegation timed a visit to Damascus with the entry into force of the Caesar Act in a bid to express Tehran’s support for the Syrian government.

24-06-2020

The Syrian government has once again devalued its currency and reduced the number of imported items it will finance, risking an acceleration of inflation, particularly for food products.

17-06-2020

Updated on June 18, 2020: The entry into force today of the Caesar Act expands sanctions on Syria and will increase challenges for the regime and the economy alike. The U.S. administration has also expanded its list of Syrians under sanctions.

17-06-2020

The Caesar Act has hardly been implemented before starting to make its impact felt in Syria: the withdrawal of a Lebanese company from the market has suspended the ATM networks of most private banks operating in the country.

17-06-2020

The text of the statement from the press secretary of the White House on the occasion of the implementation of the Caesar Act on June 17, 2020.

17-06-2020

The following is a press statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 17, 2020, on the occasion of the first designations following the entry into force of the Caesar Act.