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

Public sector companies failed to pay roughly EGP 11 billion in government dues this year, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity. The ministry’s main creditor is the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water, with delayed payments of up to EGP 3 billion in 2013. Other public sector companies with delayed payments of electricity bills include the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation, the Egyptian Radio and Television Union and the government’s business sector. [Ahram]
Egypt’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate, seeking to spur an economy that’s been hobbled by persistent political unrest. The bank reduced the overnight deposit rate by half a percentage point to 8.25 percent today and the overnight lending rate by the same amount to 9.25 percent. The bank has cut rates three times by a total of 1.5 percentage points since July. The government has announced more than $4 billion of new spending to help create jobs and boost output. [Bloomberg]
Deliberations on Jordan’s 2014 budget are under way in parliament following the government’s submission of the draft state budget law to parliament on November 24th. Should parliament endorse the bill, a number of changes would go into effect. Public expenditures next year is expected to increase to 8.1 billion Jordanian dinars ($11.4 billion), Minister of Finance Umayya Toukan said in his introduction of the draft law to parliament. The government also pledged to continue bread subsidies and work to strengthen its social safety net for low- and middle-income citizens, and to regulate public expenditure on fuel, electricity, water, telephone and travel. [Al Shofra]
A new trend has emerged in Tunisia whereby people use banknotes to voice their frustration with the government. The Central Bank on November 15th issued a statement urging Tunisians to stay away from writing political slogans on banknotes. “After confirming the use of banknotes by some citizens as a means to express their views and political positions by writing slogans on 10 and 20 dinars banknotes, the Central Bank of Tunisia calls on citizens to desist from this activity and to refrain from such methods of expressing opinions,” the statement read. Launched on Facebook, the campaign invited all Tunisian men and women to write slogans on banknotes calling on the government to resign. [Magharebia]
Also of Interest:
Gulf businessmen demand guarantees before investing in Egypt | Reuters
Arab investments in Egypt reach $50 billion | Ahram
Egypt’s Manpower Ministry: 70 cases of labor protests over 5 months | Egypt Independent
Google: Majority of Egypt’s SMBs not online yet | Google Cairo
Syrian refugees to cost Jordan ‘over $2 billion’ | Jordan Times
AECOM to resume work on multi-million dollar contract| Libya Herald
EU and Morocco sign funding agreements | ENPI
Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia disappointed in IFIs | TBN
Factories close, jobs go as Tunisia crisis drags on | Saudi Gazette
Arab Thought Foundation launches 2 initiatives for job creation in the Arab world | Zawya DJ