Rami Makhlouf (311)


Turkcell is not interested in taking Syria’s third mobile phone license, the CEO of the Turkish company, which is among the 5 prelisted firms for this third license, said.


The auction for a third mobile phone license in Syria will begin with a starting bid of EUR 90 million, according to Mohammad Al-Jallali, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications.


Syria’s mobile phone industry, the country’s most lucrative business sector, is to be overhauled as the Government announces the launch of a bidding round for a third operator as well as the sale of a license to the existing two operators.

In last week’s edition of The Syria Report we published a story on the sale of RAMAK Duty Free Shops to a group of Syrian and Arab investors.

RAMAK Duty Free, a chain of duty free shops on Syria ’s border crossings, has announced that it has sold its shops to Arab and Syrian investors.


Byblos Bank Syria has announced that it would be increasing its capital to SYP 6 billion within 18 months.

Bank of Jordan-Syria has successfully completed its rights issue raising its capital to SYP 3 billion, according to the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities.

The Board of Directors of Cham Holding, one of Syria’s largest holding firms, met last week with Prime Minister Naji Otri to provide an update on the projects developed by the company.


After showing interest in Emerald Energy, which holds a 50 percent stake in one of Syria’s fastest growing oil fields, Sinochem, a state-owned Chinese company is now looking to buy Gulfsands Petroleum, according to British press reports.

The United States has announced that it was reappointing an ambassador to Damascus four years after it withdrew its envoy there.
Gulfsands Petroleum targets to reach a gross production of 16,000 barrels of oil per day in its Khurbet east field at the end of this year and 30,000 bpd at the end of the first quarter of 2011, according to the company.

Syria’s two mobile phone operators are attracting renewed interest from foreign investors according to various press reports.


Syriatel has announced the resignation of Nader Qalei, its long time CEO, from the Board of Directors.


Syriatel posted an increase of 16.8 percent in its 2008 revenues, according to the company’s audited financial statements.

Income of the two Syrian mobile phone operators rose to SYP 33.41 billion during the first half of this year, according to the unaudited mid-year statements of the companies.

Nader Qalei, who has held the position of general manager of Syriatel since the establishment of the company, has quit his post.

American citizens and firms have been banned from dealing with Syria’s largest private corporation, Syriatel, following a decision by the US Treasury.
Al Mashrek Fund has announced a huge increase in both profits and assets in 2007.

Syriatel has issued a statement following reports that Mr Rami Makhlouf, its largest shareholder, had said that he was not planning to sell his stake in the company.

Rami Makhlouf, Syriatel’s largest shareholder, denied that he had any intention of selling his shares in the company.

Cham Holding and Souria Holding, Syria’s two largest holding firms have published their balance sheets for the end of 2007.

George W. Bush announced on May 7 that he was extending economic sanctions against Syria for another year.


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



Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that two of its key executives, including Chief Executive John Dorrier, were resigning from the board and that it was relocating its principal office to London.


The total turnover of Syriatel Telecom stood at SYP 39.39 billion (USD 820.7 million) in 2007, according to the audited statements of the company.

The International Group for the Development of Education (IGDE) announced after-tax profits of SYP 15.3 million in 2007.

The Syrian Parliament has passed a law establishing Pearl Aviation, Syria’s first private airline company.


Zein, Kuwait’s largest mobile telecoms operator has announced that it was bidding for a majority stake in Syriatel.


Emaar, the UAE real estate developer, has established a USD 100 million joint-venture with Cham Holding, Syria’s largest holding firm.


The US Treasury has announced that it was taking sanctions against Rami Makhlouf, Syria’s most important businessman and a maternal cousin to the President.


Syrian Islamic Insurance Company (SIIC), the third Takaful insurance firm to be licensed in Syria, held its founding assembly general on January 29.


The Syrian Government has granted a license to establish the first private airline company in Syria to operate scheduled flights.


Gulfsands Energy has announced that it had successfully completed the drilling, logging and testing of the Khurbet East-3 field.


The Syrian Islamic Insurance Company, a takaful insurance firm, has become the third Islamic and the twelfth private insurance firm to receive a license to operate in the Syrian market.

Rami Makhlouf, one of Syria’s most prominent businessman is selling Syriatel, the country’s largest GSM operator.

Syriatel, Syria’s largest private corporation, is about to be sold by its main shareholder, Mr Rami Makhlouf.


Al Mashrek Fund, a holding firm owned by Mr Rami Makhlouf and the main shareholder of Cham Holding, has published its establishment budget.


Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Cham Holding to develop together oil and gas projects in Syria and potentially Iraq.


Gulfsands Energy has announced that it will extend exploration works in Block 26 after the end of the initial phase of its production sharing contract (PSC).


Cham Holding’s first venture, a restaurant and café compound, opened in Lattakia on July 7.


Rami Makhlouf and Nizar Assaad, two of Syria’s most prominent businessmen, are investing together USD 23.2 million in an independent UK-based oil company with operations in Syria.


Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) is launching a 2 million ton cement plant in joint-venture with MAS, a local trading and industrial group


Cham Holding, the largest private consortium of Syrian businessmen held its founding General Assembly meeting and elected its board of directors on April 29

The Kahale Group has emerged recently as one of the most important local investors in the real estate sector in Syria

The number of subscribers to the two GSM networks in Syria will exceed the number of landline subscribers this year for the first time ever.


A number of Syrian investors have won together the contracts to develop several key real estate and transport projects including the Hijaz Station estate in central Damascus.


A number of prominent Syrian businessmen have announced the launch of a new cement manufacturing plant.


The turnover of Syriatel, the largest of Syria’s two mobile phone network operators, grew 31.5 percent in 2005 to reach SYP 25.5 billion (USD 510 million) from SYP 19.39 billion in 2004.


Byblos Bank Syria will celebrate its launch in Syria in an official ceremony to be held on June 19th, six months after it actually began its operations.

Five key opposition figures imprisoned following the ‘Damascus Spring’ pro-democracy movement that began after Syrian President Assad took power in 2000, were released from prison on January 18.