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Egypt reform progress, Saudi public finances

Egypt’s government laid out fresh efforts this week to attract greater foreign investment into the country which also coincided with the first state asset sale in nearly a year. But, unless the Central Bank of Egypt actively loosens its grip on the pound, investors will be reluctant to return. Elsewhere, Aramco – Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant – is reportedly lining up a fresh share sale later this year. Coming alongside the fact that the government is now running budget deficits, a fresh sovereign debt issuance, and Aramco boosting its dividend payout this year, it adds to a sense that Kingdom is increasingly concerned with the recent slip in oil prices. The odds of another OPEC+ production cut are shortening.

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