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Plummeting Syrian pound hits new black market low

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DAMASCUS: The value of the Syrian pound on the black market sank to 1,000 to the dollar at some money changers Tuesday, marking a new record low for the nosediving currency.
The drop comes amid a spiralling liquidity crunch in neighbouring Lebanon, which has long served as a conduit for foreign currency entering the heavily sanctioned government-held areas of  Syria .
One currency exchange office in the Syrian capital Damascus told AFP he was selling dollars on the black market for 1,000 pounds for the first time on Tuesday.   A specialised website put the volatile rate at 975 pounds to the dollar  —  more than double the official rate of 434 Syrian pounds posted by the central bank on its website.
At the start of the war in 2011, the rate stood at around 48 pounds to the dollar.
In the Old City of Damascus, a trader who preferred not to give his name said everything from food to transport had become more expensive in recent weeks.


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