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

Islamic finance can be a “good fit” for infrastructure and project finance in North Africa, because banks lack the long-term funding that these projects require, according to a new report by international ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P). Islamic finance in the region remains underdeveloped but regulatory changes are now creating an “enabling environment for its growth”, said S&P. [S&P]
The outlook for Egypt’s banking system is negative because of political instability and banks’ increasing exposure to the indebted government, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report that contrasted with many investors’ growing optimism. [DNE]
Corruption is deeply entrenched in Moroccan society, experts from the Council of Europe (COE) said in Rabat. It is difficult to assess the full extent of the problem because of the lack of statistical data. But because Moroccan citizens see corruption as reaching all aspects of life, it poses a threat to economic, social and political development, the report noted. Among the Council’s suggestions: employees should receive training to help them detect and report money laundering and corruption more easily; a special office should manage seized assets and ensure that they are handled in a public way, and gifts (except those required by protocol) to public servants should be banned. [Magharebia]
Also of Interest:
Egypt’s central bank expected to keep main rates on hold | Reuters
Interview with Central Bank of Egypt governor | Zawya DJ [sub.-based]
Switzerland pledges EGP 65 million to Egypt for Aswan projects | Cairo Post
Opinion: Egypt’s government resigns, here’s why you need to invest now | Yahoo
Libya puts ministries under special budget rules after oil revenue slump | Reuters
Tunisia fights terrorist finance networks | Al-Monitor
Op-ed: Yemen has to fulfill its part, but so do donors | Yemen Times
Yemen’s int’l cooperation minister meets WB VP | SABA
Opinion: Why is entrepreneurship constrained in MENA? | EBD