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

Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif said the government has estimated the cost of hosting over 600,000 refugees at around $1.7 billion, including operational and capital investments. According to a UN provisional overview of the funding gaps the total requirements for Jordan to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis is $2.1 billion for the current year ($1.3 billion for humanitarian areas, $741 million for development) and $3.2 billion ($1.95 billion for humanitarian requirements, $1.26 billion for development) for the year 2014. [Jordan Times]

Egypt returned a $500 million deposit to Qatar at the start of November after Qatar refused to renew it upon its maturity, a central bank official,  who declined to be named, told Reuters on Monday. The central bank expects to return a further $500 million in early December. Qatar had deposited the funds with the central bank in late 2012. In September, Egypt returned $2 billion that Qatar had deposited with its central bank, after talks to convert the funds into three-year bonds broke down. [Reuters]

The finance minister said on Monday that the 2014 budget contains no salary increases. Furthermore, SMEs with revenue less than 600,000 dinars will be exempt from taxes for three years. The draft budget will be submitted to the ANC for discussion and adoption by November 15, according to Elyes Fakhfakh. [L’Economiste Magharebin]

The Yemeni government is borrowing considerable amounts of money from international financial institutions to keep the country and the central government afloat, economists say. The move is a risky one, says Mostafa Nasr, the chairman of the Studies and Economic Media Center in Sana’a, but more transparency and efficient management could increase government revenues, reduce the country’s debt and strengthen the national economy. [Yemen Times]

Also of Interest: 
Total investments dropped 3.7 percent during Morsi’s era, report | Cairo Post
U.S. Chamber delegation to explore business opportunities in Egypt | USCC
Bad weather blamed for Egypt’s shortage of cooking gas | Ahram
Egyptian finance minister issues two securities at EGP 14.2 billion | Al-Masry Al-Youm
Libyan Tuareg and Berbers protest at oil facilities | ANSAMed
Business starts to pick up in Libya | The Tripoli Post
Commodity prices to increase in 2014 (FinMin) | TAP
Tunisia is boosting cooperation with Africa to reduce vulnerability of economy | TAP
Syria pound surges against dollar | AFP