EconSource: World Bank Project to Cut Egypt’s Energy Subsidies by $301.5 Million

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countires. 

Egypt’s government looks set to save $301.5 million annually in subsidies by connecting 1.5 million households to the natural gas grid. The World Bank, which approved a $500 million loan to fund the Egypt Household Natural Gas Connection Project, said in a statement published on Thursday that the project would reduce costs for households and lower the government’s bill. [Ahram]
The European Union decided this Friday to grant Morocco a budget of €890 million for the 2014-2017 period, as part of the European neighborhood and partnership instrument. Head of Morocco’s mission to the EU, Menouar Alem, said this is an increase of 15 percent -on annual average- compared to the amount of the 2011-2013 period (€580.5 million). The budget will be disbursed in four annual parts of €222.5 million. [MAP]
Economic growth in Tunisia remained weak during the first quarter of 2014, weighed down in particular by the industrial sector. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), real GDP expanded by 2.2 percent y-o-y in Q1 following (a downwardly revised estimate of) 2.3 percent during 2013. [CNBC]
Regulators in Jordan have introduced a set of long-awaited rules for the issuance of Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, paving the way for both the public and private sectors to tap into growing demand for Sharia-compliant investments. Jordan is one of several Muslim-majority countries keen to develop their domestic Islamic finance sector and the government is studying a proposal to issue a sovereign Sukuk, mirroring efforts by Egypt and Tunisia. [Gulf News
Also of Interest:
EBRD supports international trade in Egypt | The Financial
Egyptian government to put EGP 1 billion into tourism sector | Ahram
Tunisia: FDI declines 24.6 percent | L’Economiste Maghrebin
World Bank provides $300mn to municipalities in Tunisia | WB, L’Economiste Maghrebin
Algerian state energy company Sonatrach replaces CEO | Reuters