EconSource: Iraq to Slash Investment Spending in 2015

The Iraqi government is expected to slash investment spending for 2015 by over 80 percent as weak oil prices hit state revenues. Investment schemes have been put on hold and all other remaining projects have been postponed or cancelled apart from ongoing projects that are 50 percent complete and those deemed vital. An economic advisor to the Iraqi government said it is reassessing a five-year national development plan. Iraq has requested financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund and announced plans to issue $5 billion of debt in an international bond sale. [Zawya, 5/10/2015]

Libyan oil company pumping up to 260,000 barrels per day
Libya’s Arabian Gulf Oil Co. (AGOCO) is producing 230,000 to 260,000 barrels per day (bpd), down some 35,000 bpd, due to a protest that closed the Nafoura oilfield. The company’s port of Hariga is expecting three tankers to lift oil this week, an oil official said, and another tanker was docked at the eastern port to deliver petrol for the local market. Two more tankers bringing fuel were waiting outside the port. The closure of several oilfields across the Libya has reduced the country’s oil production to 380,000 to 400,000 bpd, an industry source said last week. [Reuters, 5/10/2015]

Saudi Aramco said to plan spending $80 billion overseas
Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco), the world’s largest oil exporter, is planning to spend between $70-$80 billion on overseas acquisitions and investments during the next five years. The investment is part of the state-owned company’s target of spending $150 billion at home and internationally through 2019. Saudi Aramco is expanding in refining and petrochemicals and seeking to boost ties with Asia as part of its ambition to become both the world’s largest oil and chemicals producer by the end of the decade. [Bloomberg, 5/11/2015]

Egypt’s annual core, urban inflation slow in April
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation and core inflation both slowed in April, a reprieve from rising prices after two straight months of increasing inflation. The central bank kept its benchmark interest rates on hold at its last meeting in April, saying it had balanced improved economic growth in the second half of last year against accelerating inflation from volatile food items. The bank has now held rates steady following two consecutive meetings. [Reuters, 5/11/2015]

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