EconSource: Iraq Will Seek $5 Billion Bond Issue, Other Measures to Relieve Budget

Iraq has decided to issue $5 billion in international bonds and is negotiating the terms, Iraqi Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari has said, in one of several measures that seeks to decrease the pressure of low oil prices on the country’s finances. Zebari said he is negotiating in Washington with Citibank and Deutsche Bank, but he declined to say what maturity and interest rates are being negotiated for the bonds. Iraq’s oil minister said Wednesday that the country’s oil exports should hit a record of about 3.1 million barrels per day in April, but exports are still below the 3.3 million target in Baghdad’s 2015 budget. [Reuters, 4/15/2015]

UN World Food Programme says Yemeni population going hungry as violence worsens
Worsening violence in Yemen has made almost half the country’s population “food insecure,” with flour shortages, closed shops, and disrupted supply routes driving up food prices, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said. The agency estimates that 12 million Yemenis are “food insecure,” up from 10.6 million in 2014. The situation is particularly dire in the southern regions, where the agency says the price of flour has increased by nearly 40 percent since the country’s conflict began. Yemen imports almost 90 percent of its basic food, which makes its population especially vulnerable to disruption of trade. [Reuters, 4/16/2015]

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to start monthly oil product deliveries to Egypt
State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will start monthly deliveries of $400 million of petroleum products to Egypt starting next week until the end of October, a source at the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has said. Egypt will receive the products on credit, and the interest rate is still being negotiated. The Egyptian government has said that EGPC will buy 65 percent of its oil product import needs from ADNOC this year. The agreement covers gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas. [Reuters, 4/16/2015]

World Bank approves $50 million project to support startups in Jordan
The World Bank has approved a $50 million assistance package to Jordan to enhance access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The five-year project is geared towards rural areas in Jordan and marginalized segments of society and aims to create private sector job opportunities, promote inclusive growth and support poverty reduction efforts. [Jordan Times, 4/16/2015]

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