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Damascus Estimates Syrian Deposits in Lebanese Banks Worth $45 Billion

Damascus Estimates Syrian Deposits in Lebanese Banks Worth $45 Billion

Friday, 10 January, 2020 - 06:30
A merchant counts Syrian pound notes in Damascus, September 11, 2019 (AFP)

Damascus estimated on Thursday that Syrian deposits in Lebanese banks are worth around $45 billion, equivalent to a quarter of the entire deposits in Lebanon which is suffering from a dire economic crisis.

A study prepared by Dr. Ali Kanaan, supervisor of the Department of Banking and Insurance at the Damascus University, shows that Syrian deposits exceed 25.4 percent of total deposits in Lebanese banks, which amount to around $177 billion, the Syrian pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported.

Kanaan explained that this number includes the deposits of Syrian individuals, investors and businessmen, omitting the deposits of some banks and insurance companies.

He said that all together, the Syrian deposits in Lebanon could surpass $50 billion.

The study also revealed that withdrawal and foreign transfer limits imposed by Lebanese banks caused a cash flow problem in Syria, leading to the depreciation of the Syrian lira.

The Syrian pound has lately reached its lowest rate against the US dollar in the black market, after being sold at around 1,000 for one dollar.

The official rate has remained stable at 434 while at the start of the war in 2011, the rate stood at around 48 pounds.

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