National Bank of Kuwait has been granted a licence to operate in Syria, an
official Syrian statement said on Tuesday, making it the sixth Gulf bank to
enter the nascent market.
government also granted a licence to Isbank, Turkey's largest bank, to open a
representative office, the statement said.
state relinquished its monopoly on the banking sector eight years ago, and 14
privately owned banks - all subsidiaries of Arab banks - now operate in the
country of 20 million people.
assets in the banking sector amount to 2 trillion Syrian pounds ($43bn), a
small sum compared with neighbouring countries. Syrian state-owned banks hold
around three quarters of the assets.
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