EconSource: Oil Export Losses to Reach $300 Billion in Middle East

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), losses from lower oil exports should sap up to $300 billion from economies in the Middle East and Central Asia this year, as countries in the region adjust to falling crude prices. An updated outlook on the region predicted that economies particularly dependent on oil exports, including Qatar, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia, will be hit hardest by the more than 50 percent decline in petroleum prices.

[Reuters, 1/22/2015]

Egypt’s index hits record high

Weakening oil prices helped Egypt’s index hit a six-and-a-half year closing high, as bets on property stocks and positive corporate news also buoyed sentiment. The benchmark added 0.5 percent to 9,856 points, rising above a major chart barrier at 9,831 points. A clean break (two straight daily closes above that level) would indicate that the index could this year could challenge the record high of 12,039 points hit in June 2008. [Reuters, 1/21/2015]

Morocco inflation eases to 0.4 percent in December

According to Morocco’s high planning authority, the country’s consumer price inflation eased to an annual 0.4 percent in December from 1.2 percent in November in part because of decreasing food prices. Non-food inflation was up 1.6 percent in the twelve months through December. The food price index fell 1.1 percent from the previous month. [Reuters, 1/22/2015]

Libya’s official government to close embassies due to budget crisis

Libya’s internationally recognized government said it planned to close several embassies and reduce diplomatic staff to tackle a budget crisis due to the loss of oil revenues. The violence has cut oil output to less than 400,000 barrels a day, a quarter of what Libya was producing before 2011. The central bank said Libya had posted a budget deficit of 25.1 billion Libyan dinars (12.3 billion pounds) for 2014. [Reuters, 1/21/2015]

Also of Interest:
Egyptian pound hits new low of 7.39 per dollar | Reuters, FT
How instability in Yemen could affect world oil trade | International Business Times
EBRD and UBCI support small firms in Tunisia | Finchannel
Suez Canal revenues record $445.5 million in December | Ahram Online
Tunisia’s food trade deficit widens by 24 percent in 2014 | TAP
Jordan’s trade deficit edges up | Zawya
Tripoli minister says oil output at 350,000 bpd | Libya Monitor (subscription)