EconSource: Libya Central Bank Seeks Cuts to Plug $19 Billion Budget Gap
Libya’s central bank has proposed reducing the country’s diplomatic missions abroad and halting foreign scholarships and other state allowances to plug the country’s budget deficit, estimated at $19 billion. It also wants to suspend family and child allowances while reviewing international medical treatments funded by the state. The bank has tried to stay out of the ongoing conflict by freezing spending apart from salaries and subsidy payments, but the two competing governments have appointed their own respective central bank governors, raising the question who is in control of oil revenue.

[Reuters, 1/15/2015]

Morocco’s trade deficit narrows 6 percent in 2014

Newly released data showed that Morocco’s trade deficit narrowed by 6 percent in 2014, reflecting lower energy imports as oil prices fell and exports surged. According to Rabat’s foreign exchange regulator, the trade gap was 186.35 billion Moroccan dirham ($19.83 billion) with exports up 6.1 percent and imports down 0.2 percent. [Reuters, 1/16/2015]

Egypt’s central bank cuts key interest rates

Egypt’s central bank made a surprise 50 basis-point cut in its main interest rates, saying that plummeting global oil prices had eased inflation risks while economic growth was rebounding. The central bank’s monetary policy committee reduced deposit and lending rates to 8.75 and 9.75 percent, respectively. [Reuters, Ahram Online, 1/15/2015]

Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia discuss trade and development cooperation

Yemeni Prime Minister and Saudi ambassador to Yemen discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in economic, development, and humanitarian fields. Officials also met in Cairo to study the possibilities of increasing cooperation between Yemen and Egypt in the fields of export and import of agricultural products between the two countries. [SABA, 1/16/2015]

Also of Interest:
The future of Yemeni rial | Yemen Times
Tunis chamber of commerce launches site to promote export | ANSAmed
Egypt’s real GDP up 6.8 percent in first quarter | Reuters
Morocco’s foreign-exchange reserves cover 5 months, 9 days of imports | MAP
Libyan Central Bank says 2014 budget deficit was LD25.7 billion | Libya Monitor (subscription)