EconSource: UAE to Supply Egypt With $1.6 Billion in Petroleum Products

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has in principle agreed to send the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) $1.6 billion worth of fuel and petroleum products for three months. Through the agreement, Egypt will receive petroleum products in September, October, and November. Talks regarding the contract, which will be signed by the end of August according to a source, are in the final stages. Last year, ADNOC agreed to send $9 billion worth of petroleum products to Egypt, but the contract was terminated after five months. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with $1.4 billion worth of petroleum products. [AMAY (Arabic), 8/10/2015]

Libyan Central Bank outlines corruption policy, foreign currency measures
The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) issued a statement outlining policies for corruption and foreign currency measures. The CBL said although it can only fully investigate claims of corruption within its own organization, it can freeze bank accounts and restrict foreign currency for banks or companies found guilty of corruption. On Libya’s lack of foreign currency, largely due to a fall in oil revenue and high spending, the CBL said it is “facing a dilemma, either to exhaust [its] foreign reserves to cover food and medicine costs for the population, or preserve these reserves.” In order to manage this situation, the CBL will implement a number of strategies, including putting certain restrictions on commercial banks. The CBL also said it would take measures to improve monitoring procedures in the banking sector. [Libya Monitor (subscription), 8/11/2015]

Prospects dwindle for Kurdistan Eurobond debut
Iraqi Kurdistan’s plans to tap into international markets have been all but wiped out by falling oil prices, rising geopolitical tensions, and a difficult backdrop for emerging economies, according to fund managers. In June, representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) met investors to gauge demand for a potential $500 million debut Eurobond issue. Seven weeks later, it seems unlikely that the bond issue will happen. Kurdistan passed a law that allows it to raise funds through international borrowing, but has no prospect of gaining backing from the central government in Baghdad. Without a guarantee from Baghdad, the bond would not be included in the major emerging debt benchmarks, would be less liquid, and would appeal to fewer investors. However, a senior KRG official commented, “We’re still interested in going forward with a bond issuance.” [Reuters, 8/10/2015]

Algeria launches tax amnesty to improve battered public finances
Algeria launched a tax amnesty on Monday aimed at boosting the government’s finances as it grapples with a 50 percent fall in oil revenue. Analysts estimate that authorities lose $4 billion annually to tax fraud. The tax amnesty, aimed at ordinary Algerians who pay a 7 percent income tax, will end in December 2016, the tax department said in a statement. Algeria’s oil and gas revenues are expected to fall to $34 billion this year from the $68 billion earned in 2014, officials have said. Algerian imports are forecast at $57.3 billion for 2015, exceeding exports for the first time. [Reuters, 8/10/2015]

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