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Companies in Syria to seek $3.5bn in project loans as corporate lending rules relaxed

The head of the Syrian unit of Lebanese lender Bank Audi has said that companies in the country are expected to seek $3.5bn in loans over the next two years to finance projects, as the country relaxes rules on corporate lending, Bloomberg has reported. The companies will request loans for industrial, real estate and hotel projects, Bassel Hamwi told the news service. The bank is now allocating about 75% of its loans to companies and 25% to individuals, he said. "Lending from local banks is available," Hamwi said. "What we need is concerted efforts between investors, the government and the legislators to ease the lending process."