EconSource: ISIS Releases New Propaganda Video Announcing New Currency

An Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) propaganda video has announced that a new currency has been minted for use in territory controlled by the jihadist group. The group’s media wing al-Hayat released an hour long documentary style video containing images that are said to be minting and circulation of the money. The video, narrated in English, says that the new gold dinar (equivalent to $139), silver dirham, and copper fulus will deal a blow to the United States and its financial system. The propaganda video did not explain where the coins were being minted or how they would replace the money that is in circulation in territories under their control in Iraq and Syria. ISIS first announced its intention to issue its own money in November. [Haaretz/Reuters, Independent, Bloomberg, Al Bawaba, 8/31/2015]

Algeria plans to raise gas output by 13 percent by 2019
Algeria plans to increase natural gas output by 13 percent by 2019, the Energy Ministry said, to reverse a decline in energy production in recent years that has damaged its export earnings and spending policy. Investment to increase its gas output is estimated at $40 billion, the government said in the latest edition of its inhouse magazine Algeria Energy. The article gave few details on how or where it would increase output. “Natural gas production will increase by over 13 percent by 2019 to meet domestic demand and increase exports,” the energy ministry said in the article. On Saturday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said the government will cut spending by 9 percent in 2016 due to a decline in earnings after the drop in global crude oil prices. Earnings from oil and gas exports are expected to fall 50 percent this year. [Reuters, 8/31/2015]

Sisi invites foreign investments in Egypt during Singapore visit
During his three-day visit to Singapore, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi invited Singapore to increase its foreign investment in Egypt and said his trip “opens the door for bilateral cooperation and mutual benefits for both countries.” Sisi pointed out several steps taken to accommodate foreign investors, including a new investment law and a new mechanism to resolve disputes between the government and investors. He also stated that Egypt has signed twenty-nine new deals for oil and natural gas drilling worth $2 billion. He added that foreign direct investment has increased by about $5.7 billion in the period between July 2014 and March 2015. [Ahram Online, 8/31/2015]

Saudi Arabia and Egypt to cooperate in peaceful use of nuclear energy
Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it has decided to work bilaterally with Egypt in several fields, including the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA reported.  The Saudi Social Affairs Minister Majed bin Abdullah al-Qasabi said following a cabinet meeting that the government has mandated president of King Abdullah City for Atomic & Renewable Energy Hashim Abdullah Yamani to work with Egyptian officials to draft an agreement on cooperating on nuclear energy. The cabinet also mandated several Saudi ministers to sign agreements with Egypt in other fields including culture, media, education, and agriculture. [Ahram Online, 8/31/2015]

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