EconSource: President Obama pledges $500 million in loan guarantees for Tunisia

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

President Barack Obama met with Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa as US was set to provide the North African nation with $500 million in loan guarantees to help foster democracy there. Since the uprising in Tunisia, the US has committed more than $400 million to provide technical, financial and security support for the government. [Bloomberg]
A national demonstration initiated by three trade unions, namely the Moroccan Labor Union (UMT), the Democratic Confederation for Labor (CDT) and the Democratic Federation for Labor (FDT), was staged on Sunday in Casablanca to protest against ending subsidies on gasoline and gradually reducing them on diesel. [MAP]
The IMF has announced its executive board is expected to approve the disbursement of $264 million to Jordan late this month under a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The disbursement of the funds will be for the combined fourth and fifth tranches under the 36-month SBA worth $2 billion approved by the IMF’s executive board on August 3, 2012. [IMF]
The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has enough reserves to fund Libya for another three years without earning anything from oil sales, the bank’s head of reserves, Musbah Alkari confirmed. The bank had “more than $115 billion (LYD 142 billion) in foreign currency reserves” placed outside the country and reserves of around $50 billion (LYD 62 billion) of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). [Libya Herald
Also of Interest:
Egypt issues 2 million fuel smart cards | Ahram
Egyptian law shielding state deals set to go to cabinet: minister | Reuters
Egypt to import coal despite environmental concerns | Al-Monitor
Egypt’s gas production and exports drop significantly’ predict shortages | Ahram, Ahram
Kuwait in talks to renew contracts on supplying oil to Egypt | Reuters
Jordan expects Eurobond deal with U.S. Treasury by June | JNA
Libyan rebels, government agree to gradually reopen occupied oil ports | Reuters
Morocco’s economy to expand 5 percent in 2015: IIF | Zawya
Fourth round of EU-Morocco FTA | MAP
Morocco hopes regulation will aid second Islamic finance drive | Reuters
Tunisia, Qatar discuss economic, financial cooperation | KUNA
Tunisia: Inflation rate down to 5 percent in March | TAP
N. Africa shows tentative signs of recovery | Zawya [Sub.-required]
MENA to invest $316 billion in power projects during 2015-2019 | Emirates 24/7