EconSource: EBRD to Lend Tunisia 200 Million Euros
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend Tunisia 200 million euros this year to finance energy and industry projects. The EBRD has financed twenty projects in Tunisia, under a budget of 210 million euros since it began its activities in the country in September 2012. Tunisia faces pressure from its international lenders to curb high public spending, including by cutting politically sensitive subsidies on basic foods and fuel. Job security and high living costs are Tunisians’ main worries.

[Reuters, TAP (subscription) 2/25/2015]

Algerian president says diversifying economy remains priority

According to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the diversification of the national economy remains a priority of the public authorities in order to reinforce growth and strengthen the resilience of the economy in view of the external shocks. While mentioning the sharp fall in oil prices, the president informed the government to take the necessary measures to mitigate negative effects on development and growth and reduce as much as possible the impact on citizens, particularly the most vulnerable social layers. [AllAfrica, 2/24/2015]

Egyptian pound steady at official auction, weaker on black market

The Egypt’s central bank kept the pound steady at 7.53 to the dollar at a foreign exchange auction on Wednesday. The central bank said it offered $40 million on Wednesday and sold $38.4 million at a cut-off price of 7.5301 pounds per dollar, the same as at the previous sale on Monday. A trader on the unofficial market said the pound was changing hands for 7.69 per dollar on Wednesday, weaker than the 7.65 quoted Monday. The central bank has now kept the official exchange rate steady for more than three weeks after letting the pound weaken in an effort to wipe out black market trading.  [Reuters, 2/25/2015]

EBRD approves first country strategy for Morocco

The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved its first country strategy for Morocco, which focuses on four key priorities identified in cooperation with the Moroccan government. The four priorities include realizing Morocco’s entrepreneurial potential; regional inclusion; sustainability and commercialization of public services and infrastructure; and advancing the development of capital markets. Under this country strategy, the EBRD “will broaden the range of financial instruments and promote innovative financial solutions. It will also focus on supporting equity and bond issuance and will raise awareness of these among foreign investors.” [Morocco World News, 2/24/2015]

Also of interest:
MENA 2015 sovereign rating trends | CPI Financial
Business conditions in the Arabian Gulf | Zawya
ISIS threatens Egypt’s economic growth | Economy Watch
Egypt banks saw cash inflows of over $400 million in a week | Ahram Online
Growth rate in Tunisia down to 2.3 percent in 2014 | TAP (subscription)
Libya’s largest oil field shut down again on power failure | WSJ, Libya monitor (subscription)