EconSource: Egypt’s Cabinet Approves Long-Awaited Investment Law
Egypt’s cabinet approved a long-awaited draft law on investment, aimed at making deals less vulnerable to legal disputes or changes in government and reducing bureaucratic hurdles. The investment law aims to create a “one-stop shop” to make Egypt more attractive to foreign investors. It is also expected to protect investors from changes in the price of land agreed to in contracts with the government. The government seeks to address foreign investors’ concerns before an economic conference Egypt plans for mid-March, when it hopes to secure domestic and foreign investment of up to $12 billion.

[Reuters, 3/4/2015]

Libyan oil production jumps despite new attacks on fields

According to top officials, Libyan oil production has jumped in recent days despite fresh attacks on fields and an air raid near a terminal. Two oil fields in central Libya that had been attacked last month were stormed again by unknown gunmen overnight.  Nevertheless, a spokesman for the state-owned National Oil Corporation said production is currently “about 500,000 barrels a day” compared to an average of 325,000 barrels a day in January following the resumption of oil facilities. This mixed news underscores the difficulty for Libya to stabilize its oil industry amid a civil war between Islamist and secular factions. [WSJ, 3/4/2015]

Morocco most indebted Arab and African country

According to a new report by McKinsey Global Institute, Morocco is the most indebted among Arab and African countries. The kingdom’s debt-to-GDP ratio stands at 136 percent. Morocco comes ahead of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have succeeded in reducing their debts. The report calls on Moroccan policy-makers and their counterparts in countries with high percentage of debts to consider more ways to reduce government debt and reevaluate how incentives in the tax system encourage the amassing of debt. [Morocco World News, 3/3/2015]

Qatar real GDP growth set to accelerate to 7 percent in 2015

According to a QNB report, Qatar’s real GDP growth has been forecast to accelerate to 7 percent in 2015, 7.5 percent in 2016, and 7.9 percent in 2017 as the government continues to invest heavily in the non-hydrocarbon sector. The non-hydrocarbon sector is projected to continue its double-digit growth on large investments in construction, financial services, and real estate. The large influx of expatriate workers, driven by major investment projects, will add to aggregate demand, putting moderate pressure on domestic inflation. Counterbalancing this, foreign inflation is expected to slow in 2015-17 as international commodity prices fall on weak global demand, record food harvests, and a stronger dollar. Overall inflation is projected to slow to 2.5 percent in 2015. [Gulf Times, 3/4/2015]

Also of interest:
Egypt’s economy needs $60 billion to hit 5 percent growth | Zawya
Egyptians race to expand Suez Canal, hoping for trade surge | NYT
Iraq says discussing $6 billion bond issue with banks | Reuters
EBRD and Bank Al-Etihad support small businesses and trade in Jordan | Zawya
IMF’s support to Tunisia will focus on backing government’s next program | AllAfrica