EconSource: Egypt Requests New $300 Million World Bank Loan for Health Sector

The Egyptian government is negotiating with the World Bank to receive a new loan of $300 million to support health care in government hospitals, through the provision of medical equipment and removal of ineffective drugs. The ministry of health and various health departments across Egypt conducted a comprehensive survey of government hospitals to determine how the loan should be spent. Loan negotiations are ongoing to determine payments and the bank will supervise the project’s implementation. The World Bank said Egypt will receive the loan next month and that the repayment period will be between twenty-five and thirty years. [DNE, 4/21/2015]

Libya’s official government has no luck selling oil bypassing Tripoli
Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk has so far failed to sell oil on its own via an account and middlemen in Dubai, as customers continue to buy crude directly from a state oil firm under the control of a the rival government in Tripoli. Tobruk Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said this month that oil sales would be routed through a Dubai bank account belonging to a new state oil company reporting to his government. Several oil shipments from the eastern Hariga and Zueitina ports controlled by forces loyal to al-Thinni have left since his announcement, but oil officials said all were paid for via the established payment routes through the state oil firm and central bank in Tripoli. [Reuters, 4/21/2015]

Tunisia census reveals development disparity between interior and coastal regions
Tunisia’s census released this month illustrates widespread underdevelopment in the country’s interior regions compared to the coastal areas. A main trend is a chronic lack of economic and human development in the country’s interior and southern regions. The interior regions suffer from educational shortcomings and widespread unemployment. The census also reveals stark differences in opportunities for men and women while in every region women are both more likely to be illiterate and unemployed. Generally, long-term unemployment has seen a significant increase, with over a third of those unemployed having remained so for more than two years. [Tunisia Live, 4/21/2015]

Some banks win, some lose in Dubai’s ‘Islamic economy’
Dubai’s drive to develop its Islamic finance sector is fueling growth of Sharia-compliant banking, but the benefits are unevenly distributed, with some lenders struggling to compete against burgeoning competition. Over the past eighteen months, some Islamic banks have appeared to benefit, but others have not, underlining the sometimes unpredictable consequences of government efforts to develop Islamic finance in the Gulf. Several initiatives announced by Dubai could have a significant impact on the Islamic banking sector, but have not yet materialized. [Reuters, 4/22/2015]

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Egypt eyes EUR6 billion in French investments in 2017 | Amwal Al Ghad
Dubai’s Arabtec says in talks with banks to fund Egypt project | Reuters
Libya’s Hariga port reopens after guards end strike | Reuters