EconSource: UAE to Scrap Subsidized Price Controls on Fuel

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said it would said it would do away with fuel price controls in a politically sensitive reform that could save the government billions of dollars. Authorities plan to begin linking fuel prices to global prices as of August 1. Gasoline prices are currently set by the government at subsidized rates. However officials will still have a hand in setting prices. A committee will meet once a month to set prices for the following month using average international prices as a benchmark. “Deregulating fuel prices will help decrease fuel consumption and preserve natural resources for future generations,” said Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui. “It will also encourage individuals to adopt fuel-efficient vehicles.”  Domestic gasoline prices may rise slightly as a result of the reform, but an expected fall in diesel prices should help the economy, a senior UAE energy official said. [AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, 7/22/2015]

Egypt’s GASC receives wheat offers in tender
Egypt, one of the world’s largest wheat importers, received offers from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, and France in its latest wheat tender. A total of twenty-two offers for wheat were made. Shipping companies did not take part because the 15 percent discount that Egypt’s state grain buyer provides to the Egyptian National Navigation Company (NNC) made bidding uncompetitive. A source at Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) said the discount was not an issue, however one Cairo based trader said that most suppliers are against the discount. On Monday, Egypt announced a tender to buy an unspecified amount of wheat for shipment from September 1-10. [Reuters, 7/21/2015]

Libyan investment chief calls for management of frozen assets
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) is drafting a proposal to the United States and the European Union seeking management of its assets. The proposal comes despite warnings from a former LIA chairman who says that the country is too unstable for such a move. The LIA’s international assets, which constitute a third of the $67 billion sovereign wealth fund, have been frozen since 2011. The LIA is now proposing that the assets remain frozen but that it be allowed to be in the “driving seat” so that it can manage them “for the benefit of the Libyan people,” Chairman of the LIA Board Hassan Ahmad Bouhadi said. He added that the assets should be managed to ensure that they are protected from market fluctuations. [Gulf News, 7/21/2015]

Tunisia and EU plan to launch power supply project worth EUR 700 million
In his visit to Brussels on Monday, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said that Tunisia and the European Union plan to launch a power supply project that will connect the Tunisian power network to Europe. “This project, which is worth EUR 700 million funded by the EU, will help the Tunisian power network to be fed from the European network during peak consumption periods,” he specified. Essid also urged European partners to increase university exchange programs by doubling the quota of scholarships granted to Tunisian students following their studies in Europe. The quota is currently at 500 scholarships. [All Africa/TAP, 7/21/2015]

Also of interest
Saudi stock market edges up, Egypt slips | Reuters
Gulf markets edge down as UAE reviews fuel prices | Reuters
Egypt’s bourse, banks to close Thursday for July anniversary | Ahram Online
IMF recommends hiking fuel taxes in Lebanon | The Daily Star
Algeria posts trade deficit in Q1 due to oil price slump | Reuters
Iran slaps import duty on wheat, barley, hurting hope for fresh trade | Reuters