EconSource: Saudi Arabia Issues Bonds in Effort to Raise Up to 20 Billion Riyals

Saudi Arabia on Monday sold bonds in Monday in tranches of five, seven, and ten years, opening its debt sale to commercial banks for the first time since it returned to the market last month to fill a budget gap caused by falling global oil prices. The government did not say how much was sold, but Saudi Arabia could raise up to 20 billion riyals ($5.33 billion) from the bonds. Saudi Arabia sold bonds last month for the first time since 2007, however the 15 billion riyals worth of notes were sold only to quasi-governmental funds. On Monday, commercial banks were also included in the sale. Further debt issuance is planned by the Saudi government on a monthly basis to the end of the year, although estimates vary as to the total amount of debt the authorities will sell. [Bloomberg, Reuters, 8/9/2015]

Egypt’s urban inflation drops to 8.4 percent in July
Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation dropped to 8.4 percent in July from 11.4 percent in June, the according to CAPMAS. The figure is the lowest since June 2014, a month before the government slashed energy subsidies and implemented a sales tax on alcohol and cigarettes that drove up prices. Lower inflation could provide Egypt’s central bank with the freedom to reduce interest rates, which the central bank has kept steady ever since in January. However a long-awaited value-added tax, if passed, could push inflation back into double digits and make interest rate reductions unlikely. [Reuters, 8/10/2015]

Tankers to load 2 million barrels of oil in eastern Libya
Three tankers will load almost 2 million barrels of crude oil at the eastern Libyan ports of Hariga and Brega this week, officials said on Sunday, as the country struggles to resume former export levels after years of conflict and unrest. A tanker docked at Hariga to load 700,000 barrels, one official said. A second tanker had loaded 600,000 barrels at Brega on Saturday and a third will load 600,000 barrels this week, a second official said. The Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, and Zueitina export terminals, also located in the east, remained closed because connected pipelines have been blocked by protests or insecurity. [Reuters, 8/9/2015]

Morocco to shut down sole refinery due to financial problems
Morocco’s Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie du Raffinage (SAMIR) will halt production at its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Mohammedia refinery due to financial difficulties, the company said in a statement. The refinery is awaiting two deliveries of 2 million barrels of crude oil, scheduled to arrive between August 15 and 18, and will stop production after processing them. The refinery will continue to supply oil products until its stocks run out. As Morocco’s only refinery, its closure would make the country entirely reliant on imports to feed its fuel needs. [Reuters, 8/8/2015]

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