EconSource: Egyptian president orders new bonds issued for Suez project
Egypt’s president has issued a decree to offer new bonds to the public to generate revenue to develop the Suez Canal area, where authorities aim to create new infrastructure and industries and draw foreign investment. The canal is currently undergoing expansion aimed at allowing two-way traffic starting in August. That project was also funded by a bond issue, which collected $8.5 billion in just eight days by selling non-tradable certificates with a maturity of five years at 12 percent interest to Egyptian nationals.

[Ahram Online, 3/23/2015]

Al-Thinni cabinet approves 2015 budget

The cabinet of Abdullah al-Thinni has approved their version of the 2015 budget, which will now be presented to the House of Representatives (HoR) for voting. Finance Minister Kamil al-Hassi in al-Thinni’s government presented an overview of the 2015 budget, but no figures were provided in the statement. The draft document “took into account the fall in global oil prices and the fluctuations in local production due to the difficulties facing Libya at this time,” the statement said. Any approved funding decisions agreed by the Tobruk government are set to remain on paper until the political standoff in the country is settled. [Libya Monitor (subscription), 3/24/2015]

Saudi real estate shares tumble on decision to tax undeveloped land

Most Saudi real estate-related shares fell in early trade on Tuesday after the cabinet on Monday approved a proposal to tax undeveloped land in urban areas. Much of the urban land in the kingdom is owned by wealthy individuals or companies that prefer either holding it as a store of value or trading it for speculative profits, rather than developing it. The cabinet decision aims to push more land out into the market in order to address Saudi Arabia’s shortage of affordable housing. [Reuters, 3/24/2015]

Morocco’s exchange office to liberalize its foreign exchange rate

Morocco is moving towards the liberalization of its foreign exchange rate regime in what appears to be an attempt to install confidence in foreign investors. The country’s Exchange Office is reportedly working gradually on the liberalization of the highly regulated foreign exchange regime. The latter will witness a wide range of regulatory and institutional reforms that are expected to have important implications on the economy’s business cycle, trade, and capital flows. [Morocco World News, 3/23/2015]

Also of interest:
Kuwait inflation continued to decline | The Saudi Gazette
Bardo attack threatens Tunisia’s fragile tourism industry | Tunisia Live
‘New level of complexity’: oil wealth and Libya’s power struggle | Albawaba
Libya crude tanker rates ‘shrink’ | Libya Monitor (subscription)
Iraq plans to issue $5 billion of five-year bonds | Arab News
Saudi Arabia reshuffles government funds under finance ministry | Reuters