EconSource: Oil Prices to Save Egypt EGP30 billion in Subsidies

According to the Egyptian minister of petroleum, the global drop in oil prices will save Egypt a third of its fuel subsidy bill in the current fiscal year. As a result, fuel subsidies will drop to about EGP70 billion ($9.7 billion) in the fiscal year ending June 2015, down from EGP100 billion originally planned. The fall in oil is good news for the Egyptian government, which in July slashed fuel subsidies and hopes to reduce the budget deficit to 11 percent of GDP. [Ahram Online, 12/22/2014]

Around $10 billion flowed out of Morocco in 2003-2012
According to a Global Financial Integrity study, around $10 billion in illicit capital flowed out of Morocco from 2003 to 2012, facilitating crime, corruption, and tax evasion. According to the report, Morocco had a record $998 million in unrecorded funds in the past nine years. [Morocco World News, 12/21/2014]

Tobruk requests funding from Libyan Central Bank
During a cabinet meeting, the government of al-Thinni, declared that it was seeking LD150 million ($120 million) to fund the “army’s campaign against terrorist groups” from the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), which is to transfer the funds without delay. The money will reportedly be spent on arming forces battling the Libya Dawn militia, which controls the capital and other areas in the west. During the same meeting, a further LD100 million ($80 million) was approved for aiding internally displaced peoples. [Libya Monitor (subscription), 12/22/2014]

Falling oil prices worry Algeria
Algeria is starting to feel the effect of falling oil prices and may have to rein back many of the policies of the last years, such as the generous subsidies. While the nearly $200 billion in foreign reserves can partially cushion the blow in the short term, Algeria’s Central Bank governor has warned that oil and gas dividend will not last forever. Oil revenues make up 97 percent of the country’s hard currency earnings and 60 percent of the government’s budget. Until now, efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and gas have been minor. [NYT, 12/20/2014]

Also of Interest:
Algeria, dependent on oil, fees pinch as prices decline | NYT
Egypt is open for business, but not for reform | The Washington Post
Suez Canal revenues record $442.8 million in November | Reuters, Ahram Online
Fitch upgrades Egypt credit rating to B | Ahram Online
Yemen, Sudan discuss raising trade exchange | SABA
Yemen, UNDP review trends of future aid | SABA
Moroccan consumer price inflation rises to 1.2 percent in November | Reuters