Central Bank of Syria

The Central Bank of Syria (Arabic: مصرف سورية المركزي, Masrif Suriat Almarkazi) is the central bank of Syria. The bank is located in Damascus with 11 branches in provincial capitals.[1] It was established in 1953 and started its operations in 1956. The objective of the bank is "to foster the stability integrity and efficiency of the nation’s financial and payment systems so as to promote optimal macro economic performance".[2]

Central Bank of Syria
Masrif Suriat Almarkazi
Central Bank of Syria on the Sabaa Bahrat Square in Damascus
HeadquartersDamascus, Syria
GovernorHazem Karfoul
Central bank ofSyria
CurrencySyrian Pound
SYP (ISO 4217)
Bank rate٠٪؜
Interest on reserves6.00%

Gold reserves

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, it has been reported that Syria's gold reserves have been cut in half from the pre-civil war amount of around $17 billion, due to the Syrian government resorting to selling off its reserves as a way of coping with international sanctions.[3] The Governor of the Central Bank of Syria Adib Mayalah has sought to deny these reports.[4] This is similar to how the Syrian government is having to use up its foreign reserves to meet the demands of a budget deficit which has greatly increased to around $6.7 Billion USD.[5]


  • (1956–1961) Izzat Traboulsi
  • (1961–1963) Hosni Al Sawaf
  • (1963–1963) Nourallah Nourallah
  • (1963–1970) Adnan Al Farra
  • (1971–1978) Nasouh Al Dakkak
  • (1978–1984) Rifaat Al Akkad
  • (1984–1987) Hisham Mutawalli
  • (1987–1995) Mohammad Al Sharif
  • (1995–2004) Mohammad Bashar Kabbarah
  • (2005–2016) Adib Mayaleh
  • (2016-2018) Duraid Durgam
  • (currently) Hazem Karfoul

Recent developments

The US, Canada, EU, Arab League and Turkey all imposed sanctions on the central bank because of Syrian civil war.[6][7][8] In the case of the US sanctions had already been in place against the Central Bank of Syria as a result of Section 311 of the Patriot Act, which accused the Bank of money laundering.[9]

The Central Bank of Syria has actively been trying to undermine these various sanctions, with Bank officials meeting with friendly institutions such as Gazprombank executives in Moscow in March 2012.[10] The Central Bank of Syria has taken an increasingly clandestine role in the domestic private sector as the country's failing economy has deterred foreign investment.[11]

During the Syrian civil war the Central Bank building has been attacked three times. In April 2012 a Rocket-propelled grenade was shot at the building, in April 2013 it was affected by a car bombing nearby and in October 2013 it was hit by mortar shells.[12]

See also


  1. "CBS's Branches in Syria". Archived from the original on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  2. "Central Bank of Syria official website". Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  3. "Syria selling gold reserves as sanctions bite: sources". Reuters. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  4. "Skepticism overshadows Syria's gold reserves". Xinhua. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  5. "Syria reverts to socialist economic policies to ease tension". Reuters. 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
  6. Cutler, David (2011-11-28). "Factbox: Sanctions imposed on Syria". Reuters.
  7. "Turkey Slaps Economic Sanctions on Syria". Fox News. 2011-11-30.
  8. "Canadian Sanctions | Foundation for Defense of Democracies". Defenddemocracy.org. Archived from the original on 2018-08-06. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  9. "U.s. trade and financial sanctions against syria". Embassy of the United States Damascus. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
  10. "Syria's Russian Connection". Wall Street Journal. 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  11. "Syria backs down over import ban". Financial Times. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  12. "Mortars hit Syria central bank in Damascus". NOW. AFP. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.

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