Syria central bank head says he will defend pound

KUWAIT - Syria's central bank will intervene to prop up its currency - which has plunged under the mounting pressure of sanctions and violence - and has the reserves to back that strategy, Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA cited governor Adib Mayaleh as saying on Monday.
Mayaleh said the black market exchange rate, which last month hit a record low of about 70 to the dollar, reflected attempts to destabilize Syria, where President Bashar Assad is trying to crush an 11-month-old uprising against his rule, the agency reported.
"The exchange rate in the parallel market is fictional, and its goal is to provoke fear and panic among citizens," KUNA quoted him as saying, adding that the bank would be intervening in that market within one week.
"The bank's foreign currency reserves are good, sound. The exchange rate will return to normal after positive intervention and injecting forex to make up for shortfalls... to allow banks to fund imports at normal prices."
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