New MENA Monthly Energy sector features new financing mechanisms

Date: Aug 2019

  • Recent measures by the Central Bank of Egypt signal a shift in monetary policy toward supporting growth as inflation eases.
  • In Saudi Arabia, higher expenditure than revenue so far this year pushed H1 2019 accounts into a mild deficit of 0.2% of GDP. The overall deficit forecast for this year as a whole is projected at 4.2% of GDP.
  • The Lebanese government’s slow reform process and inability to pay its bills keep manifesting in mini-crises: the latest is over trash, and credit rating downgrades.
  • Chinese construction companies continue to win major contracts in MENA -- most recently in the UAE and Iraq -- despite competition from Europe and Asia.

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4 September 2019 @ 1300 BST

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New Country Views

Iraq:

Growth recovery despite structural woes

  • Higher oil output should boost growth, but structural vulnerabilities, particularly high unemployment and a growing population, are being left unattended by the absence of any major legislative action.
  • The faltering of the Southern Iraq Integrated Project (SIIP) with US energy giant ExxonMobil reflects some of Iraq’s problems that need to be addressed.
  • Leaders in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional capital Erbil have opened a fresh round of talks to resolve disputes over oil and territory, as new administrations in both cities look to reset their relationship.

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