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

The allocation of a total of EGP 1.31 billion to different sectors was approved by Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal on Sunday. According to a statement from the ministry, the allocations aim to improve public services for citizens. EGP 1.1 billion will be allocated to the petroleum sector to repay its January debts for petroleum products, including natural gas and diesel, used in power stations. Expenditure on health and education sectors is expected to increase starting from the 2014/2015 fiscal year.  According to the new ratified constitution, spending rates for the health sector will increase to 3 percent of GDP, 4 percent for education and 1 percent for scientific research. [DNE]
A fundraising campaign from Kuwait to support Egyptian people will kick off next week, according to an announcement by General Manager of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and former Kuwaiti Minister of Finance Badr Al-Humaidi. The Central Bank of Egypt announced in September it had received a $2 billion deposit from Kuwait. In October, interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi highlighted that Kuwait had granted Egypt an extension on its debt repayment from one to five years. Al-Humaidi pointed out that petroleum assistance valued at $1 billion was also sent to Egypt, but the remaining $1 billion has yet to be approved by Kuwaiti National Assembly yet. [DNE]
Capital Bank on Sunday promoted Ignite as a new training service to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). According to executives, the service seeks to boost the sector and help Jordanian firms enter new markets. Haytham Kamhiyah, the bank’s general manager, explained that Ignite will offer training to founders and directors of SMEs on strategic planning for growth, efficiency, export, marketing and preparing financial statements that would enable them to access credit. Capital Bank seeks to attract more clients and to serve the Kingdom’s economy as SMEs represent nearly 95 per cent of businesses in the country. [Jordan Times]
Tunisia can rely on the support of the US in this critical phase, US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Saturday. “The United States remains fully engaged in supporting Tunisia in this critical phase,” he told national and international media after his meeting on Saturday with Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. Burns announced that “ten million dollars will be invested by the US under scholarship programs for Tunisian students wishing to continue their studies in American universities”. [DOS]
Also of Interest:
Egypt’s gov’t increases cigarettes retail prices | Ahram
Egypt narrows budget deficit in H1 | Reuters
Currency black market shows limits of Egypt’s recovery | Reuters
Biblawi: Several measures adopted to boost economy | SIS
Analysis: Currency black market shows limits of Egypt’s recovery | Reuters
Iraq stops oil supplies to Jordan | JNA
DOJ investigates big banks’ dealings with Libya | Reuters
IDB grants $272 million loan to Morocco | IDB
Morocco saw more tourists, less money in 2013 | AFP
Blog: Morocco’s fiscal reforms result in an adjustment in the twin deficits | CPI
Tunisia and Algeria strive to achieve economic complementarily | TAP
KFAED finances KD 17 million to Yemen’s educational projects | SABA
Yemen: Hodeidah revenues reach YER 89.5 billion in 2013 | SABA