The Governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) Adib Mayyala announced on 18 June that the government would tap into a $1bn credit line from Iran to stabilize the value of the Syrian currency, which had hit a record low against the US dollar on the black market.

The rate was quoted by a Damascus money changer at $1=S£254 on 17 June, but the pound has since strengthened somewhat to just over S£200 on the black market, although this is still far weaker than the CBS official rate of $1=S£100 on 20 June. Mr Mayyala says the CBS will respond to requests from banks for foreign currency and will supply the market to finance imports. He described the latest black market exchange rates as “imaginary and speculative.” Even at $1=S£200, the local currency would have lost 325% of its $1=S£47 value before the civil war. (CONTINUED - 676 WORDS)