Nicosia, Mar 11: After three years of delay and at the time of a world-wide financial crisis, Syria launched its first stock exchange on Tuesday, Mar 10 in an effort to liberalise the country's largely state-controlled economy and provide a measure of freedom to the private firms.
Syrian Finance Minister Mohammed al-Hussein said that the bourse would constitute an important turning point in the Syrian economy and rang the trading bell at a formal launch ceremony for the Damascus Securities Exchange.
The Syrian Exchange will operate only on Mondays and Thursday. So far only four brokerage companies have been licensed to operate.
Five banks, a transportation company, a construction firm and a publishing and marketing group were listed on the exchange, but the Finance Minister Mohammed said he expected that by the end of the year 20 more companies would be listed.
Hong Kong-based International Securities Consultancy Ltd provided technical assistance for the establishment of the Exchange. The exchanges in Abu Dhabi, Jordan and Egypt also provided advice and support to the DSE.