EconSource: Egypt To Pass Mining, Industrial Land Laws

According to Egyptian investment ministry, Egypt will pass laws related to mining and the allocation of industrial land in an attempt to speed reforms aimed at attracting foreign investors ahead of the investor conference in March. The World Bank urged Egypt to take concrete steps towards reforms early this week. Few details about the exact content of the laws were given and legal reforms were not discussed while they are aimed at facilitating the investment process. [Trade Arabia, 12/17/2014]

Iraq seeks one-year deferral on Gulf War reparations
According to UN officials, Iraq has requested a one-year deferral of a $4.6 billion reparations payment it owes for destroying Kuwait’s oil facilities during the 1990-1991 occupations. The request comes as Iraq faces a cash crisis caused by falling oil prices and the war on Islamic militants. The UN Compensation Commission will consider the formal request at a special session on Thursday. Kuwait is reportedly supportive of the request. [Reuters, 12/17/2014]

Revenues of Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves exceeds $3.1 in 2013
According to the governor of the bank of Algeria, revenues from its investment transactions in foreign exchange rates in 2013 reached $3.15 billion despite “difficult” international conditions. The bank’s annual report on development, economic, and financial trends revealed that “the interest rates of investments of foreign exchange reserves reached an appreciable rate in view of low interest rates applied by the majority of foreign central banks.” The high level of reserves is expected to absorb external shocks. [AllAfrica, 12/16/2014]

Morocco’s central bank cuts benchmark interest rate
In a historic move, Morocco’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to 2.5 percent from 2.75 percent. This second cut in three month shows the bank’s interest in supporting the country’s economic growth while expecting inflation to remain low. The central bank forecasts overall gross domestic product to grow 4.4 percent in 2015 due to good rainfall boosting agricultural output, a significant increase from the 2.5 percent growth in 2014. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 12/16/2014]

Also of Interest:
EBRD helps bring electricity to rural Morocco | EBRD
Algeria’s wheat imports exceeded $2 billion in ten months | Ennahar
Morocco Central Bank may revise currency basket weightings | Bloomberg
Morocco and EU wage “war of tomatoes” | ANSAmed
Iraq stops salaries to “ghost soldiers” | The National
Egypt exports to UK grow by 30 percent in 2014 | Egypt Daily News
Egyptian stocks drop 3.58 percent following global trends | Ahram Online
Yemen partakes in meeting of Asia-Pacific LDCs | SABA