EconSource: Libya on Verge of Economic Collapse, UN Envoy Warns

The United Nation’s Special Envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon said Thursday that Libya is on the verge of economic collapse as rival factions haggle over a political settlement. Leon warned that Libya is running out of time and that economic collapse “is a real possibility.” His comments come after a recent meeting with the governor of Libya’s central bank. He described the current instability in the country as “very difficult in terms of Libyan finances.” [Reuters, 5/28/2015]

Standard & Poor’s boosts outlook for Egyptian banks
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said it had raised its outlook on three of Egypt’s largest banks to positive from stable following the agency’s upgrade two weeks ago on the outlook for the country as a whole. S&P also affirmed its B-C long and short-term ratings for the three banks: the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, and Commercial International Bank. S&P said bank ratings could eventually be revised to stable if sovereign credit ratings are deemed stable. [The National, 5/28/2015]

Tunisia to borrow $500 million from international financial market in early 2016
Tunisia will borrow $500 million in loans from the international financial market in early 2016, supported by a US guarantee, Finance Minister Slim Chaker has said. Chaker said the US guarantee will allow Tunisia to benefit from an interest rate of 2 percent instead of 5.2 percent for a repayment period of seven years. Chaker said the loans will be used to finance the state budget, particularly investment and infrastructure projects. Meanwhile, Tunisia’s central bank said it posted a surplus in the country’s balance of payments in the first four months of 2015, due to inflows of foreign capital. [African Manager, 5/29/2015]

Losses on resources front pressure Syrian regime on revenues
With most of its natural and mineral resources having fallen under rebel control, Syrian state revenues have shrunk, leaving the government dependent on unstable sources of income. The government’s only revenues are drawn from dwindling customs and income taxes, heavily bolstered by lines of credit from Iran. With the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), the regime has lost control over swathes of vital resources, including two recently captured phosphate mines and two oil fields in central Syria. The country’s total exports plummeted from $11.3 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion in 2014. On Thursday, the European Union extended its sanctions against the regime for another year and added a high-ranking Syrian military official to its list. [AFP, 5/29/2015]

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Libya affirms OPEC output target as ministers head to Vienna | Bloomberg
Dubai’s inflation expected to slow down further | Gulf News
Free Zones seize 25 percent of Egypt’s exports | Amwal Al Ghad
Egypt moves to extend natural gas opportunities (analysis) | Forbes
Ambassador says overland trade between Jordan, Iraq paralyzed | Ammon News
Moody’s affirms five Tunisian banks’ ratings; changes outlooks to stable | Moody’s