EconSource: Fitch Ratings Upgrades Tunisia’s Outlook to Stable From Negative

International rating agency Fitch has revised Tunisia’s outlooks from negative to stable. Its long term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings have been affirmed at ‘BB-‘ and ‘BB’ respectively. The rating agency estimates, in the report published on its website, that the country’s budget deficit is on an improving trend, helped by lower international oil prices in 2015-2016 and gradually improving economic performance. However, Fitch mentioned that “the political and economic destabilization risk from social unrest or terrorist attacks remains significant, as illustrated by the recent attack in Tunis.” [TAP, ANSAmed, 3/29/2015]

IMF official says Moroccan economy is on right track
Jean-Fançois Dauphin, Chief of French-speaking countries division at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), noted that, thanks to its many assets, the Moroccan economy is on the right track, and prospects are promising on the mid-term. Over the past decade, a noteworthy diversification combined with an improved growth rate and drop in poverty characterized Morocco’s economy. Despite these achievements, some challenges such as the unemployment rate, especially among the youth, and income inequalities persist. [Morocco World News, 3/28/2015]

Contribution of SMEs to Qatari economy touches 16 percent
The Qatari government’s decision to merge Enterprise Qatar (EQ) with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to further strengthen the private sector business activities has brought positive results. The contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the national economy has reached 16 percent. The SME sector has played a significant role in the development of almost all the advanced economies in the world and provides the maximum number of employment opportunities. [The Peninsula, 3/29/2015]

Two tankers load oil at eastern Libyan ports for export
Rising exports from the ports of Hariga and Zueitina offer some hope for Libya’s oil sector, which has been battered by Islamist militant attacks and fighting between rival factions. Two tankers bound for Italy loaded 600,000 barrels of oil at the Libyan port of Hariga and 130,000 barrels of oil at the Zueitina port. According to the National Oil Company, numerous major oilfields have stopped working due to the struggle between the two governments, but Libya’s oil output has risen to 622,000 barrels per day. [Reuters, 3/29/2015]

Also of interest
WB loans Morocco $130 million for household waste management | Morocco World News
Oman’s foreign assets rise to OMR6.471 billion | Oman Daily Observer
UAE Islamic banking sector to achieve $263 billion by 2019 | Gulf News
Egypt spends 30 percent less on fuel subsidies in first half of fiscal year | Reuters
Trade exchange largely affected after Arab Spring | Daily News Egypt