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

Tunisia’s battered post-revolutionary economy received a much-needed boost with the IMF’s announcement that it was releasing half billion dollars which had been delayed for months, the state news agency reported Thursday. Economy Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda said the IMF board had approved the $506.7 million funds late Wednesday in Washington. It is the second disbursement from a $1.74 billion standby loan granted in June and had originally been scheduled for delivery in September. [AP]
Saudi Arabia is expected to give Egypt up to $4 billion in additional aid in the form of central bank deposits and petroleum products, Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Thursday. The UAE is also expected to contribute $1.8 billion to the new aid package in the form of fuel shipments, the source added. The newspaper said the package would be worked out during a visit next week to the oil-rich kingdom by Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi. [Ahram]
A total number of 222,000 citizens have “voluntarily” deleted their ration cards after deeming themselves “ineligible” for subsidized commodities, according to Minister of Supply Mohamed Abu Shady. The number of ration cards amounts to 18.2 million, benefiting 69 million citizens. A joint committee will be formed to plan a media campaign which aims at creating a “communal dialogue” on achieving justice in subsidy distribution and determining those who are most eligible for it, Abu Shady said. [DNE]
Support is ebbing in east Libya for a six month blockade of its three oil ports, and for former rebel commander Ibrahim al-Jathran whose force led the seizure. Even Jathran’s own tribe and leaders in its hometown speak angrily about getting exports flowing again as capital Tripoli warns it may no longer be able to pay public salaries because the blockade has slashed oil revenues. Surveying the potholed roads and abandoned buildings of Ajdabiya, mayor Salem Abdullah is all for fighting for more autonomy and oil wealth from the central government – but not for the blockade. [Reuters]
Also of Interest:
Egypt Central Bank receives additional $2 billion from Saudi Arabia | Ahram
Industry Minister: Egypt to revise all economic legislation | SIS
Winter electricity black outs return to Egypt | Ahram
Egyptian government panel freezes funds of 46 Brotherhood leaders | Ahram
Representative: IFC committed to backing Egypt | Egypt Independent
Jordan declares war on street vendors | Al Bawaba
OMV gives upbeat assessment on Libyan oil | Reuters
Morocco leases lands to expand agricultural sector | ANBA
IDB grants Morocco MAD 1.8 billion loan | WAM
Morocco, North Africa’s largest FDI recipient in 2013: | UN
Tunisian Finance Minister: Supplementary finance law 2014 ‘not in immediate future’ | TAP