Thursday, 12 February 2015

IMF endorses Egypt’s reforms. Ramez says currency controls are working. Egypt makes Bloomberg ranking of most promising emerging markets. Kuwait’s Sabah to attend Sharm. Emaar mulling new Egypt investments? El-Sabbagh’s killer in custody?


The story may have run its course, but we’re hoping that commentary on the IMF’s Article IV consultation might spur the Sisi administration to fast-track release of key pending pieces of legislation, including the new unified investment law. See our special Spotlight on the IMF report after the Speed Round.

The retrial of jailed Al Jazeera English journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed is set to begin today.

The National Weather Service says the sandstorm that has engulfed much of the nation for two days now will last until Thursday evening, Al-Masry Al-Youm reports, though the air was reasonably clear in our little corners of Maadi and Heliopolis as we prepared to dispatch this morning. TIME Magazine has a gallery of the sandstorm, which has engulfed a number of Middle Eastern countries this week.


The severe sandstorms and cooler temperatures that the country has been grappling with for the past two days were a major topic of discussion on last night’s talk shows.

Magdy El Gallad, who filled in for Khairy Ramadan on CBC, showed footage of the dust covered streets and reported that nine people have died and 19 were injured in weather-related accidents including falling trees and road accidents due to poor visibility.

Gallad also commented on the double standards of the American media in light of what he called “biased reporting” on the murder of the three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Ibrahim Eissa, meanwhile, gave Al-Azhar the night off to zero in on the upcoming elections for the House of Representatives, saying, “The next parliament is in danger” and harshly criticizing the Wafd party for their inability to take a clear position on the poll. “First they threaten to boycott the elections because of their opposition to the entry of the Fi Hob Misr electoral list. They have been making accusations right and left that Fi Hob Misr is the government’s list supported by the mukhabarat and then the next day they are negotiating with them for representation on the list. What are we supposed to think? It’s a shame that such a well-established political party with an honorable history is suffering from a severe identity crisis that has rendered it completely ineffective.”

Eissa goes on to point out that “no one is talking about programs or political views on which voters may make informed decisions. Instead we are bogged down with petty bickering over the lists.”

Rana Badawy, Amr Adeeb’s Wednesday night replacement claimed to be clarifying that the news of Emaar pumping in billions in new investments in Egypt is not true. “It is actually Emaar Chairman, Mohamad Alabbar, who plans to invest billions of dollars of his personal money in Egypt.” Alabbar met with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb on the sidelines of the UAE Government Summit in Dubai yesterday.


Hisham Ramez says currency controls are working, black market’s days are numbered.Speaking with Al-Mal the same day he announced USD 10k daily caps on hard currency would be eased for businesses with hard-currency revenue streams such as logistics companies, schools, tourism operators and hotels, Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez said the measure was having its intended effect on the black market and would be minimally disruptive to imports and investment. Al-Borsa, meanwhile, has Ramez saying the measures are already showing signs of driving exchange bureaus and businesses to deposit excess hard currency liquidity in banks. Ramez did note, however, that the relaxation of deposit limits for companies with USD revenue streams won’t be carried out blindly: a logistics company that typically deposits USD 100k a week that suddenly decides to deposit USD 1 mn will find itself answer questions.

Bloomberg Markets issued their fourth annual ranking of the most-promising emerging and frontier markets in which to invest in 2015. Egypt makes the cut at number 25, with South Korea at the top of the list. (Read)

Emaar Misr’s offering will be less than half what Reuters said last month it would be, thenewswire now reports. Having whetted appetites for an EGP 2 bn offering, it seems we’re now looking at an issuance of about 87 mn shares worth EGP 878 mn. The news comes the same day that Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of parent company Emaar, reportedly told Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab in Dubai that Emaar plans significant new investments in Egypt, per Al-Borsa. No details of those plans have been reported, and talk show host Rania Badawy claims the report is inaccurate — it’s actually Alabbar personal who plans mega-investments here. We’ll keep an eye out for clarification from both parties today.

Emir of Kuwait confirms he will attend the Sharm conference: A brief note in Al-Borsa this morning says the Ambassador of Kuwait met yesterday with President Abdelfattah El-Sisi to confirm Sheikh Sabah El-Sabah will attend next month’s gathering in Sharm.

Egypt will overshoot its official GDP growth target, said Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and record an annual economic growth rate of 4% in FY 2014/15, according to Amwal Al Ghad. The PM’s remarks confirm earlier suggestions by Finance Minister Hany Dimian that growth would come in at “north of four percent.”

Egypt may join Greece, Cyprus and Israel for joint military exercises -Greek Defense Minister:The announcement was made new Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos, who we noted in our 2 February issue is being eyed warily by Turkey over his security posture against a backdrop of illegal naval incursions committed by Turkey into Cypriot waters. Kammenos made the remarks while on a two-day visit to Cyprus that began yesterday. Kammenos was quoted as saying that within the coming months, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and possibly Egypt would conduct joint military exercises to enhance regional security and cooperation and to help enforce the territorial integrity of Cyprus’ EEZ. (Read in GreekReporter or The Times of Israel)

CBE approves exploration of currency exchange system with Russia, says Tourism Ministry official: The Central Bank of Egypt has accepted a Ministry of Tourism proposal to accept payments in rubles in light of the devaluation of the Russian currency, according to an official at the tourism ministry. (Read)

Egypt court overturns 36 Brotherhood death sentences: The Court of Cassation has overturned yesterday death sentences handed to 36 members of Ikhwan, including the one against their former Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie. (Read)

Canadian PM, Ambassador reach out to Egypt request release of Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy: The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Tuesday that it had sent a letter to President Abdelfattah El Sisi to request the release of jailed journalist Mohamed Fahmy. The Canadian Ambassador to Egypt Ferry de Kerckhove was set to meet Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat yesterday to discuss Fahmy’s release and deportation to Canada, Ahram Online reported.

Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh killer in custody: Prosecution: As we noted yesterday that officials had said that the alleged killer of activist Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh had been identified and would soon be arrested. Yesterday the state prosecutor reported that the killer had been apprehended and was in state custody. The identity of the suspect has yet to be released. (Read)

INTERVIEW: Mohamed Kassem, Chairman of Egyptian Ready Made Garment Export Council: QIZ tripled Egyptian textile exports to the U.S. Egyptian textile exports to the United States represent 25% of all non-oil exports and 20% of total manufacturing in Egypt, according to Kassem in an interview with Worldfolio. Kassem says the industry is currently targeting an increase to USD 10 bn in annual exports by 2025 from USD 2.5 bn today. Kassem sees this as a realistic goal at projected growth in global demand at the same time as producers in both India and China export less to satisfy demand in their own domestic markets. (Read)

Guidelines on SPV for renewable projects to be released soon: Following the publication of their analysis of Egypt’s feed-in-tariff (which we noted in our 4 February issue, and which you can find here), the Dubai branch of the law office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP have published an update on the feed-in-tariff law and possible amendments on their Energy Legal Blog: “The additional time appears to be being used to respond to constructive comments from developers and other stakeholders. It is also expected that some clarifications will be issued in writing. Developers are reporting that up to now many details are only emerging verbally in face to face meetings, which many have found somewhat frustrating. Details therefore remain sketchy, but indications are that EgyptERA is planning in the next week to issue guidelines that will clarify the exact requirements for incorporating a special purpose vehicle.” (Read)

The key takeaway from Cityscape’s breakfast briefing yesterday: The Egyptian Real Estate Export Council is trying to come up with a national map of real estate opportunities. “We are trying to have a map of the real estate sector in Egypt, similar to the one provided in London. Investors are interested in growth rates, and this would actually enable the investor to focus on the data he is interested in. As experts we are collecting this data and the real estate map will be ready by the end of the year. It is going to be nationwide and on the level of all sectors.” (Read)

Leviathan partners Noble Energy and Delek Group may still be able to reach accord with Israeli authorities in the coming 2 weeks -Israeli investment firm: Psagot Investment House says that the partners in Israeli offshore gasfield Leviathan still have time to reach a settlement with Israeli authorities within two weeks time. Development of the gasfield has hit a dead end ever since the head of the Israeli Antitrust Authority David Gilo announced in December 2014 his intention to initiate antitrust proceedings against the Leviathan partners on charges they are operating as a cartel. (Read)

Three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina, American media hesitant to call the attack a hate crime: A 46-year old man who had posted incendiary remarks on Facebook regarding Christians and Muslims as well as photographs of his gun shot three young Muslims in North Carolina yesterday execution-style with bullets to the heads. Police are saying the murders were due to a dispute over a parking space. The victims were newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat (a 23-year old dental student), his wife Yusor Mohammad (21) and her her sister Razan (19). Reactions from Muslims and Muslim advocacy groups has been critical over a perceived double-standard in the media’s handling of the incident — not for a lack of coverage, but for an avoidance of characterizing the killings as either hate crimes or acts of terrorism. Both young women who were killed were veiled. According to a Pew 2014 poll, Muslims as a religious group are viewed in America as less favorable than all other groups except for atheists, the self-identified affiliation of their killer. Unfortunately, many of the Muslim advocacy groups in the United States are affiliated with political Islamists, who have capitalized on and exploited accusations of Islamophobia to develop a populist base. (Read)

China sentences man to death for crime for which it had wrongfully executed another man nearly 20 years ago: In a case that illustrates the fundamental problem with the death penalty, China recently reversed a decision which saw a man be wrongfully convicted and executed for a crime in 1986 to which another has confessed. Huugjilt, the man who was wrongfully accused and sentenced to death, was only 18 at the time. Zhao Zhihong, who has since come forward and confessed to the murder, along with 9 other homicides and various crimes, has been sentenced to death. (Read)

Yemen Houthi rebels seize U.S. embassy vehicles after diplomats leave: staff: Following the evacuation of the American embassy in Yemen in the wake of a coup led by Shiite Houthis, local members of embassy staff informed Reuters that the Houthis have seized more than 20 American military vehicles following the departure of embassy personnel. (Read)

White House requests authorization for ground troops to fight Daesh: Democratic senator Bob Menendez told reporters yesterday that the White House is floating a proposal that would allow for military intervention in Syria that could include the use of ground troops and which would be set to expire in 3 years time. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was quoted as saying: “I’m not for boots on the ground.” (Read)

CORRECTION: In yesterday’s edition, we stated that Egypt and Russia agreed to create a free trade zone; the agreement is actually to establish a free trade zone between Egypt and the entire Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan. (Read) Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had recently met with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei on 07 February on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, where the two discussed, among other issues, increasing trade between the two states. (Read)


The IMF issued yesterday the press release for Egypt’s 2014 Article IV consultations. The consultations, completed in 28 January, are the first since 2010 and the report is generally balanced, uncontroversial — almost anti-climactic in its neutrality and helpfulness.

Watch mission chief to Egypt Chris Jarvis discuss the most important points of the report here(running time 01:51) or read the full 70-page report here in pdf.

The report’s highlights in brief: The IMF notes “the starting point is difficult” but “as the authorities implement policy initiatives, prospects for growth, employment, and macroeconomic stability will improve.” That praise of the Sisi administration’s plans is less clear than the IMF directors welcoming “the authorities’ focus on improving infrastructure and reforming the energy sector” and urging officials to simultaneously emphasize investment “designed to create jobs in the short term and increase potential growth and exports in the long term.” Liberalization drives were praised in tandem with the authorities’ policies to protect the underprivileged and the support “of a new cash transfer scheme and the reform of food ration cards, together with the government’s commitment to further improve targeting and increase benefits” and “considered that the increase in public spending on education, health, and research, if managed wisely, can improve the quality and availability of public services and support long-term inclusive growth.” Preemptive praise for the CBE’s managed devaluation drive was present as the IMF welcomed “a more flexible exchange rate, reflecting supply and demand and consistent with an adequate level of reserves, as a way to improve the availability of foreign exchange for households and businesses, strengthen competitiveness, support the current account, and attract foreign direct investment” was welcomed.

On downside risks, the report doesn’t present new insight, but warns about the vulnerability of the recovery to adverse economic shocks, regional security risks and “possible policy slippages” stressing the “importance of building confidence and creating adequate buffers by implementing swiftly the reform agenda, strengthening international reserves, and preparing contingency plans for the budget.”

What the business press is saying: International reaction to the Article IV talks has largely been positive, with the WSJ noting in ‘Reforms Produce Results for Egypt‘ that “in the medium term, economic growth is expected to accelerate steadily to 5% annually, helping reduce the country’s double-digit unemployment rate.” The FT’s Heba Saleh plays it similarly right down the middle in ‘IMF sends ‘message of confidence’ for Egypt’s economic reforms‘. Reuters has the least-interesting take, but even that is quite positive (see: ‘IMF says Egypt’s reforms starting to spur turnaround in economy‘), while Bloomberg plays-up the devaluation angle in ‘Egypt Devaluation to Strengthen Economy’s Rebound, IMF Says‘.

What non-business types will read in English: Reforms Produce Results for Egypt, by the Associated Press, which is balanced-to-positive in its tone.

Finance Minister Hani Dimian’s take: On a call with reporters organized after the report’s release, Dimian called the review “balanced” and an endorsement of the government’s reform agenda, which has sent the “right signal at the right time. … We front-loaded a number of very tough policy reforms to send a message of seriousness of the government and of the regime on the determination and firmness to restore this economy.”

Will there be an IMF loan? Not now, it seems. Again, Dimian: “We’re open to all types of collaboration with all institutions, with all sources of financing as needed. But there are no concrete plans for the time being to talk about, or to consider, an IMF financing package.”


Iran Goes Ballistic: Yoel Guzansky and Yiftah S. Shapir write on the complications preventing military deterrence from being effective in preventing Iran going nuclear, as well as complications for greater regional security: In 2007, in what was “a rare statement, Adm. Ali Shamkhani, former Iranian defense minister and military advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i, described Tehran’s possible response to the Gulf states if there were to be an attack on its nuclear facilities: Iran would launch a blitz of missiles at the Gulf states … and the missiles wouldn’t only be directed against American bases in the region but also at strategic targets, such as refineries and power stations … The goal would be to stun the American missile defense system using dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of missiles that would be launched simultaneously at selected targets.” As this confounds Israel being able to strike Iran to stymie its progress, the Gulf Arab states have responded with a massive regional defense spending spree, while at the same time for various political reasons, have failed to create a cohesive missile shield to counter Iran. (Read)


In line with the reading above, Intelligence Squared hosted a debate last year regarding the evergreen question: Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran? For the Motion: James Dobbins, Reuven Pedatzur; Against the Motion: Shmuel Bar, Jeffrey Goldberg. While the point of view of the debate is from Israel’s perspective,Israel’s concerns can more or less stand in for those of any state in the region which is not Iran or one of its vassals. (Watch, running time: 1:47:48 and or read the transcript here)

And while the sandstorm is supposed to subside by Thursday evening, just in case you decide to stay in over the weekend and need something to binge watch, check out the acclaimed 1976 BBC miniseries I, Claudius, of which we linked to a scene from the series which we linked to on Monday under the title ‘How to Run a Proper Morning Staff Meeting.’ Based on the events of the life of Roman emperor Claudius, who due to a childhood sickness was afflicted with a limp, stutter and twitch was treated as an idiot by his family. Going largely unnoticed, Claudius was actually brilliant, and even after he managed to get his stuttering and twitching under control, decided to long after that continue to play dumb in order to outlast his scheming family members, who murdered each other in a relentless quest for power. The 13-episode series won a number of awards and is based on the novel by Robert Graves, widely considered a classic of the English language.


International coverage on Egypt was primarily focused on the overall positive aforementioned IMF Article IV consultation. The second-most story receiving attention is the retrial of Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed is set to begin today, also noted above.

‘Opinion: Egypt’s latest scandal is not exactly Watergate’: Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat comments on the alleged leaks from Ittihadiya in an op-ed published yesterday: “The latest so-called scandal of audio leaks from the Egyptian presidency is fit to be taught in media studies classes as a model of a failed campaign. It’s also proof that, regardless of how strong the media thinks it is, it cannot influence or change anything so long as it doesn’t have a concrete cause, or lacks credibility. If I hadn’t known the background to the leaks and the motives behind them, I would have thought they were a product of the Egyptian presidency itself in an attempt to convince us of its good intentions …  Arab countries—except for one—agree it is necessary to support Egyptian stability. As such, any propaganda targeting the regime is unlikely to succeed, if it is the product of premeditated campaigns and not spontaneous, popular moves. Truth be told, this malicious campaign of leaks is the lamest I have yet seen in this genre …” (Read)


OCI and Actis await financial proposals from local banks
Al Mal | 11 Feb 2015
OCI, in partnership with Gaz de France, and Actis, in partnership with RES, are awaiting financing proposals from several local banks before presenting competing bids on a 250 MW wind energy project in the Gulf of Suez. These include Banque Misr, the Bank of Alexandria, and Banque du Caire. The project will be reportedly implemented under a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) financing model, giving the winning company ownership rights for 20 to 25 years. (Read in Arabic)

Ministry of Electricity to present 16 opportunities at the investment summit
Al Borsa (Print) | 11 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Electricity has prepared 16 potential projects for the Sharm investment summit. The projects combined have a total power generation capacity of 8,400 MW, with conventional power stations generating 7,500 MW of the total. Five power transmission projects will also be presented at the conference with a total capacity of 2,500 kV. In addition, potential projects to generate 900 MW from renewable energy sources will be presented at the conference.


Egypt’s oil and gas market to decline by 5.2% until 2019 –BMI
Egypt Independent | 10 Feb 2015
Business Monitor International (BMI) expects Egypt’s oil and gas market to shrink by 5.2% until 2019, driving the market value of the sector to USD 25.7 bn by the end of 2019. BMI expects market consumption to increase at a CAGR of 3.5% and hit 623.4 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2014. (Read)

Naftogaz increased oil production in Egypt by 11.5% y-o-y in 2014
Interfax | 10 Feb 2015
Naftogaz Ukrainy increased its Egypt oil production in 2014 by 11.5% y-o-y. Naftogaz’s total output reached 1.932 million barrels by year end. Since the launch of the gas production line in September 2014, output amounted to 50.88 mcm. Naftogaz drilled 42 wells in Egypt, 30 of which are in production and one is being tested. The company plans to complete the construction of infrastructure objects in the fields and commission new pipelines in 2015. (Read)

TransGlobe Energy announces year-end reserves, increased focus on Egypt
CNN Money | 11 Feb 2015
TransGlobe Energy announced a significant drop in its reserves “due to a reclassification of the Yemen reserves to Contingent Resources, annual production and negative revisions which exceeded positive revisions and new additions.” Under IFRS accounting rules the Company has written down the assets in Yemen to zero. In 2014, TransGlobe focused mainly on Egypt, with continued development of the West Gharib and West Bakr concessions. (Read)


Egypt to be exempted from Russian wheat export tariffs starting next June
Al Masry Al Youm | Feb 2015
Egypt will send a delegation of experts to visit Moscow in the next few weeks to negotiate a trade agreement regarding wheat imports, according to the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Small and Medium Enterprises Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour. The agreement will seek to ensure the supply of specific quantities of Russian wheat to Egypt and will aim to see Egypt excluded from having to pay recently-announced Russian export tariffs set to go into effect next June. Abdel Nour has said he had agreed with Russia’s agriculture minister on condition that the agreement will be signed during the meetings of the joint Egyptian-Russian Committee to be held next April. (Read in Arabic)

Finance ministry denies imposing duties on potato exports
Amwal Al Ghad | 11 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Finance has denied rumors it imposed export duties on Egyptian potato exports. (Read in Arabic)

Sinai Cement to distribute dividend on the back of strong earnings
Al Mal | 11 Feb 2015
Sinai Cement will distribute an EGP 1 per share dividend on the back of a 190.4% increase in profits y-o-y. The total distribution will amount to EGP 68.1 mn, while employees will get a bonus of EGP 8.7 mn. (Read in Arabic)


Egyptian Steel plans to increase production capacity to 3.5 million tons by mid 2016
Reuters, Al Borsa | 11 Feb 2015
The total annual production capacity of rebar and DRI (direct reduced iron) will reach 3.5 million tons before mid-2016, up from 800,000 tons, Egyptian Steel CEO Ahmed Abou Hashima, quoted in an interview with Reuters. Abu Hashima also said that his company now owns plants in Port Said and Alexandria with a combined annual production capacity of 1.2 mn tons. He added that the company will begin production at a third plant located in Beni Suef during the third quarter of this year and there are plans to start production at a fourth plant in Ain Sokhna by mid-2016. (Read in Arabic or the original in Reuters)


Etisalat Egypt to borrow USD 120 mn from NBAD and HSBC
Al Mal | 11 Feb 2015
NBAD and HSBC will lend Etisalat Egypt USD 120 mn to develop its telecommunications network. The loan has a maturity of three years and both banks have denied any intention to market part of the loan. Etisalat Egypt had repaid a syndicated loan of USD 300 mn it obtained in 2010 from a consortium that included NBAD in 2014. (Read in Arabic)

Unified Telecom License: Three years without results -Al Borsa; Landline licenses to be handed out in weeks -Minister
Reuters, Al Borsa | 11 Feb 2015
After more than three years of negotiations between various parties, the Egyptian government’s plan to introduce a unified telecom license appears to have hit a snag, according to Al Borsa. Telecom Egypt, the country’s only fixed line service provider, is interested in entering Egypt mobile phone market. In order to do so, however, mobile service providers- Vodafone, Etisalat, and Mobile- must be provided the opportunity to own a portion of the country’s fixed-line infrastructure, a right that historically has been afforded solely to Telecom Egypt. This requirement will likely result in the postpone the unified telecom licences introduction to 2018. However, Reuters reports that Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told reporters yesterday that Egypt will issue landline telecom licences to Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Etisalat within weeks. (Read in Arabic and in Reuters)


Red Sea ports remain closed due to bad weather conditions
Al Borsa | 11 Feb 2015
The Red Sea Ports Authority announced that four ports remain closed due to the sand storm hitting Egypt at the moment. The ports of Sokhna, Port Tawfik, Zeitiat, and Adabiya have stopped operations for the second day. Similarly, the Damietta port is also closed after winds there reached a speed of 26 knots. (Read in Arabic)

Follow up: Suez Canal Chairman in France
Al Masry Al Youm | 12 Feb 2015
While in Paris this week for a conference Suez Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish met with logistics companies in Marseille to market the new Suez Canal project. Mamish was accompanied by the Egyptian consulate official in Marseille Ambassador Tarek Youssef, who spent some time talking to potential investors as well as marketing for the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm. Mamish noted that several of the biggest transport and logistics companies in Marseille have shown some enthusiasm toward both the new Suez Canal project as well as the summit. (Read in Arabic)


Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s political wing and Al Wasat join elections boycott
Daily News Egypt | 10 Feb 2015
The political wing of former terrorist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya along with Islamist-lite group Al Wasat have stated they will boycott upcoming parliamentary elections. (Read)

Preliminary list of March investment summit projects announced
Al Borsa | 11 Feb 2015
A preliminary list of the projects that will be presented at the March Investment Summit is now available. The list contains a total of 121 projects, 92 of which expected to require USD 121 billion in investments, spanning a number of sectors ranging from mining and energy (31 projects) to real estate (32 projects). While the Borsa article does not mention any specific projects, it notes that a final list is expected to be available by the end of February. (Read in Arabic)


Libya reopens strike-hit oil port as U.N. convenes talks
Reuters | 10 Feb 2015
Libya reopened its oil port Hariga on Tuesday, ending a strike by guards that had threatened to further slash exports as Islamist rebels who have seized large swathes of the country are fighting the internationally-recognized government based in the east. The guards had been striking, as we had noted on Sunday, due to not having received their salaries as a result of a budget crunch which in turn is being caused by declining oil production and export. (Read)

Rebel Islamists in Libya issue list of preconditions for further talks
Libya Herald | 10 Feb 2015
Islamist rebels who competed in elections and failed, the General National Congress, have demanded from the EU parliament a number of pre-conditions, including the upholding of a Supreme Court decision which invalidates the legitimately and internally recognized House of Representatives (HoR). The HoR states that the decision was made under duress with judges under armed guard. (Read, browser check will be initiated before page opens)


USD CBE auction (latest sale on Wed 11 Feb): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday 02 Feb)
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