EconSource Headlines- March 5, 2014

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

US President Barack Obama requested $7 billion to enhance stability, security and economic partnership with Middle East countries in FY2015 state budget proposal. [MENA]
Nine Egyptian public holding companies and their subsidiaries will soon be under an independent sovereign fund. The fund to restructure the public companies will be managed directly by the prime minister’s cabinet, said Hisham Ramez, governor of Egypt’s Central Bank (CEB). [Ahram]
The unemployment rate in Tunisia went down slightly to 15.3 percent in the fourth quarter last year against 15.7 percent during the third quarter, according to the Tunisian national statistics institute. Unemployment for higher education graduates is estimated at 31.9 percent against 33.5 percent in the third quarter of the same year. [African Manager, LM (French)]
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend Tunisia $690 million to support its democratic transition in 2014. EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine-Vive suggested that the Tunisian financial sector would gain a lot from adopting new funding models such as meso-finance, which is a way to support SMEs so as to boost growth and economic development. [Reuters, TAP
Also of Interest:
Egypt foreign reserves up to $17.3 billion at end Feb. | SIS
Egypt’s minister of supply: Bread distribution system is a failure | DNE
Egypt’s finance minister: NGO funds worth EGP 10.5 billion | Cairo Post
Egypt ETF in play on Russell demotion | ETF watch
Egypt watchdog allows investment funds to manage insurers’ cash | Reuters
Libya-Egypt border suspicions hit Tobruk’s trade | Reuters
Libyan business confederation to be set up | Libya Herald
Tunisia cuts subsidies on tomato paste, a commonly sold good | Tunisia Live
Yemen: Proposed U.N. sanctions to aid in effective transition | Yemen Online
As Arab startups get more serious, so too does VC investment | WSJ