EconSource: Tunisia Estimates $515 Million in Tourism Losses, Decline in Foreign Reserves Following Attack

Tunisia estimates at least $515 million in losses in 2015 for its tourism industry after last Friday’s attack on a beach hotel that killed 39 people, the tourism minister said. “The attack had a great impact on the economy, the losses will be large,” Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said on Monday. The decline in tourism will also impact Tunisia’s foreign exchange reserves and could lead to a weakening of the country’s currency. Inflation appears steady below 6 percent, tax collection is improving and authorities have started to rein in spending, which may offset the blow from any tourism slump. [Reuters, 6/30/3015]

Talks ongoing to restart closed Libyan oilfields, output stable
Negotiations to reopen Libyan oilfields are ongoing and the level of the country’s production remains stable, a spokesman for the state National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. Libyan authorities said they are trying to reopen pipelines for the El Feel and El Sharara oilfields and the port of Zueitina, which has been blocked for weeks by protests and disputes. “Efforts being carried out by elders and mayors of local municipalities are still under way in order to reopen the closed oil fields. We expect good results soon,” said NOC spokesman Mohamed Harari. He declined to provide an official update on production output, but the Tripoli LANA news agency estimated it to be 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). [Reuters, Libya Monitor (subscription) 6/29/2015]

Syria puts new 1000-pound note into circulation
The Central Bank of Syria put into circulation on Tuesday a new 1,000 pound banknote that does not include the image of former president Hafez al-Assad. Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh said the move is part of an effort to improve the paper currency in circulation. Mayaleh insisted that the new banknote will not affect the country’s inflation rate but that it will replace 70 billion worn-out banknotes that are being withdrawn. Instead of the late president’s image, the new note depicts an ancient Roman theater in southern Deraa province. [AP, 6/30/2015]]

Iraq to issue domestic and international bonds in July and August
The Iraqi government is planning to issue a total of $11 billion in domestic and international bonds in the next two months to cover the state budget deficit, the acting central bank governor Ali al-Allaq said. In an interview, al-Allaq said the government will issue around $5 billion in domestic bonds next month and around $6 billion in international bonds by the middle of August. He said the government has started talks with potential investors in Turkey for the five-year international bonds. He added that the central bank also plans to repurchase government bonds in an effort to provide financial liquidity, maintain price stability, and support the economy. [Zawya, 6/30/2015]

EBRD boosts trading facility for Egypt’s CIB to $100 million
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Monday it would increase its trading facility limit to Egypt’s largest private sector bank, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), to $100 million from $50 million. EBRD said in a statement the boost came in response to growing market demand to promote cross-border trade in Egypt. [Reuters, 6/29/2015]

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