EconSource: Gulf Deposits Will Raise Egypt’s Foreign Reserves to Over $20 Billion

Egypt’s foreign reserves are expected to rise to over $20 billion after recent Gulf deposits, the Governor of Egypt’s central bank has said. Egypt received deposits worth a total of $6 billion from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait last week. The deposits are viewed as crucial in shoring up Egypt’s foreign reserves and ensuring the stability of its local currency.  The deposits will be used to meet large parts of the central bank’s debts and import obligations over the next twelve to eighteen months. The Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank said Egypt would need to complete projects and repay loans before the bank grants it more funds. [Aswat Masriya, DNE, 4/27/2015]

Strike shuts down key oil field in Libya
A strike by Libyan security guards over salary payments has forced the closure of the western El Feel oilfield, which is jointly run by Italian energy giant Eni and Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC). El Feel is an important part of what remains of Libya’s oil industry, producing about 100,000 barrels a day of the country’s output of less than 600,000 barrels a day. A NOC spokesman said El Feel’s production is expected to resume soon. Meanwhile, the eastern Libyan state firm AGOCO, a unit of NOC, is producing 270,000 barrels of oil per day. [WSJ, Reuters, 4/26/2015]

Iraq to to ship new crude grade in May after setting discounts
Iraq is set to start exporting Basrah Heavy crude next month after offering discounts for the new grade in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Iraq’s Oil Minister said the heavy grade will help to preserve Iraq’s oil qualities and increase output. Iraq is offering Basrah Heavy after facing pressure from customers to split its main Basrah Light crude into two grades to preserve quality. Oil prices have slumped 40 percent in the past year, cutting the Iraqi government’s income as it battles Islamic extremists. [Bloomberg, 4/26/2015]

World Bank approves loans for Morocco’s healthcare, energy projects
The World Bank has approved two projects totaling $248.95 million to support Morocco’s healthcare and clean energy sectors. A loan of $100 million aims to increase access to and improve the quality of public services for poor and rural populations in disadvantaged regions. Meanwhile, investment in the energy sector will support Morocco’s efforts to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels. The energy project will be cofunded by the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund. [Morocco World News, 4/25/2015]

Also of interest
Ending Egypt’s currency black market brings new challenges | Reuters
Romania eyes $1 billion trade exchange with Egypt by end of 2015 | Amwal Al Ghad
Saudi minister says high oil output based on demand | Reuters
Oil buoys Gulf markets; Dubai, Saudi hit 2015 highs | Reuters
Facing oil price drop, Algeria’s Sonatrach seeks service discounts | Reuters
Falling prices, rising threats cool interest in Kurdish oil | Gulf News