Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Egypt has postponed any decision on taking a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF as financial aid from Gulf countries has given Cairo some breathing space as it starts to conduct economic reforms, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din said yesterday. Bahaa El-Din said Egypt has so far received around $8 billion of a $12 billion aid package from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE promised in July, and is expecting to receive $1 billion in aid from Kuwait. He said Egypt is negotiating for more aid from the Gulf which has so far given the country cash transfers and oil shipments. On top of $8 billion, Egypt’s central bank has received deposits from the Gulf to improve liquidity. [Gulf Times]
Libya has burned through $7 billion from its foreign currency reserves to offset the impact of oil strikes, and will have to spend up to $6 billion more this month to keep the country running, the deputy central bank governor said. If the strikes by armed militia members and tribesmen continue to prevent exports, the central bank will restrict access to dollars next year to safeguard the Libyan dinar, and may consider devaluation, Ali Mohamed Salem told Reuters. While Salem said Libya still has a cushion of $119 billion in reserves, it could be eroded rapidly. [Reuters]
Libya’s General National Council assembly (GNC) voted on Wednesday to make Islamic Sharia law the base for all legislation and for all state institutions, a decision that may impact banking, criminal and financial law. “Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya,” the GNC said in a statement after the vote. “All state institutions need to comply with this.” The immediate scope of the decision was not clear, but a special committee would review all existing laws to guarantee they comply with Sharia. [Reuters]
With its trade balance hampered by oil product imports, Morocco has launched the Energy Efficiency Convention, which aims to reduce energy consumption by 12 percent. A program to replace gas pumps with solar pumps will soon get under way in the agriculture sector. In mid-December 2013, Morocco’s National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (ADEREE) will report on the Energy Efficiency Convention it launched at the beginning of the year.  The agency has already identified several large sectors with a view to reducing energy consumption by 12 percent by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030. Agriculture is one of these sectors. ADEREE is particularly targeting pumps, tractors, motors, drying rooms and livestock buildings. [EconStrum]
Also of Interest:
Egypt returns $3 billion deposit to Qatar | Ahram
Egypt to pay $1.5 billion arrears to foreign oil firms | Reuters
Egypt government preparing law to protect investments | Reuters
Egypt’s official growth forecast unrealistic, Prime Holding | Ahram
Naguib Sawiris to invest $1 billion in Egypt in Q1 2014 | Reuters
Opinion: Why Egypt’s army is bad at doing business | Al Bawaba
Egypt committed to supplying Jordan with natural gas | Jordan Times
US to fund 5-year education development program in Jordan | Jordan Times
New report on mixed migration in Libya reveals serious protection gaps | Reuters
Yemen industrial survey provides foundation for development | Al-Shofra