EconSource: Yemen foreign exchange reserves stabilize but borrowing balloons in political crisis
Yemeni Central Bank data showed that Yemen’s foreign exchange reserves have stabilised after a steep fall due to its political turmoil, but ballooning government debt issuance indicates the country may be moving closer to a fiscal crunch. Gross foreign reserves, which had sunk to $4.65 billion in November, recovered slightly in December to $4.67 billion, equivalent to 4.6 months of the country’s imports. This suggests that for now at least, Yemen can avoid a collapse of its external payments position. Nonetheless, the government is being forced to borrow heavily from local banks to stay afloat.

[Reuters, 2/20/2015]

Iraq to boost southern oil storage to 15 million barrels

According to a senior official, Iraq plans to increase its southern oil storage capacity to 15 million barrels by the end of 2015, to help cope with export bottlenecks caused by bad weather and to absorb rising production. Near the southern city of Basra, a new facility will add more than 1 million barrels of capacity to the existing 9.5 million. The storage capacity increase will help Iraq absorb expected rising oil production from the southern oilfields and also avoid export halts during rough weather. [Reuters, 2/20/2015]

Kuwait offers vote of confidence with $6.8 billion Egyptian investment

Offering a vote of investor confidence, Egypt’s energy sector announced a $6.8 billion investment partnership plan with Kuwait. This puts Egypt on track to meet a $14.5 billion industry goal announced last year. The plan sets aside the investment for petrochemical projects, which have fallen short in recent years due to the country’s gas shortfalls. The new partnership signals an improvement of investor confidence in Egypt as a whole and the country’s energy sector. [Forbes, 2/20/2015]

Also of interest:
The Battle for Libya’s Oil | Al Jazeera
Egypt’s economy: Pyramid scheme | The Economist
Oil price slump will not stop Gulf money pouring into Egypt | International Business Times
Marrakech to hold Investments and Projects’ Development in Africa 2015 forum | Morocco World News