EconSource: Tunisia to Adopt Investment Code in Early October

Tunisia’s House of People’s Representatives (HPR) will adopt a set of economic bills at the beginning of October, Minister of Communication Technology and Digital Economy Noomen Fehri said, including an investment code. Speaking at an economic forum of Tunisian expatriates held on Thursday, Fehri said the government also hopes that the HPR will adopt laws on public-private partnership and a tax reform bill. The government is seeking to boost relations with Tunisians abroad and encourage investment in the country. The government’s five year development strategy relies heavily on investment from Tunisians abroad. Fehri added that he supports the liberalization of the Tunisian dinar starting in 2017, as it will help Tunisian expatriates increase their investment in Tunisia. [TAP, 8/20/2015]

Egypt seeks LNG cargoes via Jordan
Egypt is seeking liquefied natural gas (LNG) via Jordan as the two countries boost LNG imports following the recent installation of floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). Egyptian state-owned gas company EGAS is seeking four LNG cargoes for delivery to Jordan’s Aqaba gas terminal, which will then be piped to Egypt. EGAS has reportedly approached existing suppliers for two cargoes to be delivered in September and two in October. Egypt and Jordan are linked by the Arab Gas Pipeline, which was built originally for exports flows from Egypt. However, numerous attacks on the pipeline have disrupted operations and a lack of investment in Egypt’s energy industry have transformed the country into a net importer of energy. [Reuters, 8/21/2015]

Algeria writes to OPEC over falling oil prices
Algeria has written to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), warning that a new drop in oil prices may warrant fresh discussions over the group’s strategy. In the letter, Oil Minister Salah Khebri noted that oil prices have sharply declined since the group decided to keep its ceiling unchanged at a meeting in June. One source said Khebri asked OPEC to consider taking some sort of action, although he failed to suggest specific measures. The international oil benchmark, Brent, now trades around $47 a barrel. According to the International Monetary Fund, Algeria needs a price of $121 a barrel to cover its overall expenditure. [WSJ, 8/20/2015]

Turkey’s bonds trading like junk, ratings downgrade possible
A number of factors, including record lira weakness, a political stalemate, and a looming repeat of June’s general elections, are combining to undermine Turkey’s hard-won investment grade. Turkey has had investment-grade ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Ltd. for more than two years. The two ratings show that Turkey fulfills the criteria that many international investment funds require to buy its government bonds. Losing one of the ratings would worsen bond outflows, which already total over $4 billion this year. “The market is moving ahead of rating agencies in trading Turkey credit as sub-investment grade,” said Abbas Ameli-Renani, global emerging-market strategist at asset manager Amundi in London. [Bloomberg, 8/20/2015]

Also of interest
Saudi riyal forwards hit as cheap oil erodes confidence | Reuters
Saudi Arabia’s economy and cheap oil | Bloomberg
Egypt stocks fall further as oil prices, Chinese equities slide | Ahram Online
Dubai’s Arabtec denies withdrawing from Egypt housing project | Reuters
Morocco’s BCP takes control of BIA-Niger bank | Reuters
Lira at 3 to the dollar brings Turkey no closer to recovery | Bloomberg