EconSource: Tunisia: Insufficient Tax Revenue in 2014
Tunisia’s Minister of Economy and Finance Hakim Ben Hammouda called the tax resources mobilized in 2014 estimated at an amount of 19 billion dinars insufficient. At a meeting on provisions of the Finance Act for 2015, he added that budget resources could reach 80 percent in 2015 and 85 percent in 2017 against the 70 percent accumulated in 2014. The Finance Act for 2015 contains new measures relating to direct taxes, fiscal disputes, and other measures related to registration fees and other taxes.

[African Manager, 1/13/2015]

PFM reform key to Iraq’s economic resilience

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iraq is faced with the “double shock” of declining oil prices and conflict. To face these challenges he urged the country to build up its resilience through better public financial management practices. The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) insurgency has heavily affected Iraq’s non-oil economy through the destruction of infrastructure and assets, trade distributions, electricity, and investor confidence. The drop in world oil prices has added to the tension and complicates efforts to mitigate the damage. Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of Iraqi’s total government revenues, making the country highly vulnerable to oil price volatility. [Public Finance International, 1/13/2015]

Egypt bourse to allow trading in ETFs

Egypt’s stock exchange will allow trading in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for the first time on January 14 as part of an effort to encourage foreign investment and boost liquidity. ETFs are traded like a stock and can allow investors to diversify their risks and reduce transaction costs. The introduction of ETFs comes during a period of takeovers and share issues on Egypt’s stock exchange, signalling a renewed interest from international investors in a market working to restore confidence. The main stock index rose about 30 percent in 2014 and trading volumes have rebounded above levels seen in 2010. [Reuters, 1/13/2015]

Yemen sells 1.3 million barrels crude to Unipic

The Yemeni Supreme Committee on Crude Oil Marketing has approved selling 2.8 million barrels of crude oil by March 2015. The committee agreed to endorse the sale at a premium of $0.02 a barrel to dated Brent to Unipic Company. The state-owned Aden Refinery Company will buy the entire allotment of 1.5 million barrels of Marib crude also offered for March at a price flat to Dated Brent. [SABA, 1/13/2015]

Also of Interest:
Exports to Iraq reach $9 billion despite ISIS | Daily Sabah
Telecom Egypt signs LE15 billion agreement with Mobinil, Vodafone | Ahram Online
Strong economy key for Egypt’s future democracy, says UK minister | Ahram Online
Morocco awards largest solar thermal power plants to ACWA | Bloomberg