EconSource: Turkey Central Bank Attempts to Stem Lira Slide

Turkey’s central bank lowered the cost of dollar borrowing for a fourth time this year, seeking to halt the lira’s slide after the breakdown of talks on the formation of a new government sent financial markets tumbling. The rate for commercial banks’ dollar borrowings was lowered to 2.75 percent from 3 percent. The interest rate for dollar reserves held at the central bank was also increased to 0.23 percent from 0.21 percent. “These are fringe tools that the central bank is playing with and the market won’t take any notice,” said Yeliz Karabulut, a vice general manager at Alan Menkul Degerler AS in Istanbul. “There’s an uncertain period ahead of us until Turkey holds repeat elections, and it will be a period of continued lira weakness.” [Bloomberg, 8/14/2015]

UAE’s Dana Gas extends earnings slump as second quarter profit plunges 85 percent
United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Dana Gas said on Thursday that a sustained slump in oil prices and lower production was to blame for a sharp fall in earnings for a third straight quarter. The company made a net profit of 25 million dirhams ($6.8 million) in the second quarter, down 85 percent from a year earlier. Production fell 9 percent and revenue declined 38 percent. Dana Gas said in a statement it would increase production in Egypt and the UAE in the second half of 2015 in an effort to increase revenues.  Meanwhile, government-owned Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) recorded a loss of 165 million dirhams in the first half of 2015 and cut jobs by 22 percent. Taqa plans to cut spending by 2.5 billion dirhams ($681 million) this year. Taqa is also close to signing a $3.1 billion five-year loan that will consolidate existing debts into a new, lower-cost facility. [Reuters, Bloomberg, 8/13/2015]

Egypt bourse could freeze Juhayna chairman’s shares for alleged Brotherhood links
Egypt’s stock exchange will freeze the shares in Juhayna Food Industries owned by Chairman Safwan Thabet over alleged links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Exchange Chairman Mohamed Omran said Thabet’s shares in Juhayna would be frozen as soon as the bourse received an official letter from a committee responsible for managing the Brotherhood’s assets. Omran said the freeze would not affect other shareholders in the company. “The company’s shares will be available for trading as normal, while Safwan will be prohibited from selling, purchasing, or disposing of his shares,” state news agency MENA said. [Reuters, 8/13/2015]

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What next for Egypt’s economy? (analysis) | Al Ahram Weekly
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Iraq’s Basra crude exports to rise to almost record level in September | Shafaq News
Tunisia PM calls on expats to invest in development projects | All Africa/TAP
Morocco records budget surplus | Middle East Monitor