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AMMAN: Syria has raised its official exchange rate for banks to help attract foreign transfers away from the black market and support the local pound currency, which has fallen to record lows in recent weeks, bankers and businessmen say.

The rate was set at 2,512 to the US dollar for the first time since last June to bring it closer to informal market rates which briefly hit a record 4,700 per dollar last month before draconian capital controls helped stabilise the currency.

Traders said the pound was trading at around 3,200 per dollar on Thursday.

Other latest moves included tighter controls on bank withdrawals and internal transfers and restricting movement of cash around the country to stop dollar hoarding.

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