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

Libya’s central bank has made a LYD 2.55 billion ($2 billion) emergency loan to keep the government running in the absence of a regular budget, a parliamentary spokesman said on Tuesday. Parliament has so far failed to pass a budget for 2014 because the country’s oil exports have fallen to a trickle due to a wave of protests at oil ports and fields since last summer. [Reuters]
Morocco’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate at 3 percent on Tuesday, forecasting inflation would stay in line with its medium-term target at 1.8 percent. It has also cut banks’ reserve requirement to 2 percent from 4 percent citing a shortage of liquidity. [Reuters]
Economic expert Dr. Ahmed al-Reefi says that high prices will reduce consumer buying, leading to a higher rate of poverty in Yemen. He explained that according to some researchers, there are ten groups represented by ten families that control 80 percent of Yemen’s imports, industrial activity, oil distribution, communications, and the banking sector. This leads the Yemeni market to suffer from supply crises and unstable prices. [National Yemen]
Yemen spent more last year on importing oil than it made from exports for the first time in almost 30 years, raising concern about the fragile, internationally-backed transition process. Sana’a earned $2.66 billion from oil sales at home and abroad in 2013, and spent $2.93 billion on imports, according to the Central Bank of Yemen. [FT]
Also of Interest:
Multi-billion dollar project will not solve Egypt’s housing crisis | Al-Monitor, FT
Qatar calls for dialogue in Egypt | AFP
Analysis: Egypt’s factories in the dark | Mada Masr
Egypt mulls free trade zone with Russia’s customs union | Reuters
Morocco’s bakery workers strike | Tunisie Focus (French)
Yemen annual inflation rises end-December 2013 to 8.14 percent | Yemen Economist
US says UN report lays blame on Syria government for hindered aid |Reuters