Thursday, November 23, 2017



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    Industrial production fell as a whole by 0.9% in the first nine months of 2017, compared with a 0.2% decrease in the same period of the previous year.

    According to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), this decrease is mainly due to the decline observed in the production of the non-metal mineral product manufacturing sector (-5.6%) following the decrease recorded in cement production.

    Production also dropped in the energy products extraction sector by 13.4%, mainly due to the decline in crude oil production.

    In contrast, production increased in the non-energy extraction sector (+ 20%) following the rise in crude phosphate production (3.546 million tons in the first nine months of 2017 against 2,531 million tons during the same period of the previous year).

    On the other hand, industrial production posted a 2.9% growth in the mechanical and electrical industry sector, the rubber and plastic industry sector went up 4.1% and the petroleum refining industry (+ 2.8%).

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      The Capital Intelligence international credit rating agency, on Wednesday, announced it has affirmed the ratings of Banque Nationale Agricole (BNA), based in Tunis, Tunisia.

      BNA’s Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is affirmed at ‘B-’.

      The rating remains constrained by very weak loan asset quality, low loan-loss coverage, and low levels of both liquidity and capital – the latter exacerbated by the shortfall in provisions, said the rating agency.

      It added that BNA’s Long-Term Foreign Currency Rating (FCR) is maintained at ‘B-’.

      The Short-Term FCR is affirmed at ‘B’. The FCRs are constrained by the Bank’s weak financial profile and a very challenging operating environment, but are supported by majority government ownership. The Outlook for all ratings is ‘Stable’, according to the same source.

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        Investments related to projects costing more than 5 MD grew by 11.4% from 1,525.7 million dinars (MD) in the first ten months of 2016 to 1,699.1 MD during the same period of 2017, said the Agency for Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII).

        These projects will create 11,063 jobs, compared with 9,369 jobs in the first ten months of 2016, i.e. up 18.1%.

        It should be noted that projects of 5 MD and more, which represent 4.4% of the number of reported projects and 23.3% of the number of jobs, account for 57.6% of all reported investments.

        Among the 133 projects (I> 5 MD) reported during the first ten months of 2017, twenty-three projects totatled an investment amount of 717 MD or 42.2% of the total investment (I> 5 MD).

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          The first ten months of 2017 saw an increase in reported investment in regional development areas by 5.2% to 1,363.7 MD from 1,296.8 MD during the same period of 2016. The share of these areas in all the governorates changed from 49.1% to 46.2% during the first ten months of 2017, said the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and of Innovation (APII).

          The increase recorded in the reported investments in the regional development zones is mainly attributable to the governorate of Kasserine whose investments reached 156.9 MD against 30.6 MD in 2016.

          This is the same for the delegation of regional development governorates of Mahdia, Tataouine, Beja and Kairouan.

          The number of projects receiving the investment premium for regional development has increased from 168 (for a total investment of 261.3 MD) to 151 projects (for a total investment of 159.3 MD) in 2017.

          These projects will allow the creation of 3,086 jobs, against 3,985 jobs in 2016. The investment bonus granted reached 29.9 MD against 38.4 MD in 2016, i.e. a decrease of 22.1%.

          The number of projects benefiting from state participation and investment premiums for new promoters and SMEs went down from 23 (for an investment of 61.5 MD) to 13 projects (for a total investment of 38 MD) in 2017.

          These projects will generate 577 job positions, compared to 564 job positions in 2016.

          State participation and investment grants reached 5.5 MD against 5.2 MD in 2016, an increase of 5.8%

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            Reported investments in the first 10 months of this year in the industrial sector reached the amount of 2,950.5 MD, against 2,639.8 MD during the same period of 2016, posting an increase of 11.8%, said the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII).

            The number of reported projects reached 3,042 in the first ten months of 2017 compared with 2978 in 2016, up 2.1%.

            These projects will create 47,474 jobs, compared with 43,775 jobs in the first ten months of 2016, i.e. an increase of 8.5%.

            Reported investment in the industrial sector reached the amount of 337.9 MD in October 2017, against 265.2 MD during the month of October 2016, i.e. up 27.4%.

            The number of reported projects reached 303 in October 2017 against 301 in October 2016, up 0.7%.

            These projects will generate 3,890 jobs, compared to 4,456 jobs in October 2016, i.e. a decrease of 12.7%.

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              The Up Group has just bought Top Checks, a leading distributor of meal and gift vouchers in Tunisia that was launched in 2010.

              Its network is very rich, more than 3,500 restaurants and affiliated merchants who feed more than 8 000 people.

              The company has 7 employees in Tunisia and its issue volume weighs nearly € 2.4 million (7 million Tunisian dinars); the turnover was about € 150 000 (435 000 Tunisian dinars) last year…

              With this acquisition, the Up group has a presence in 18 countries and is the second largest international transmitter in Tunisia.

              “We are delighted to join the Up group whose values centered on the collective interest we share.

              It offers prospects for expanding our portfolio of services to our clients and beneficiaries, thereby contributing to well-being and performance.

              In addition, the anchoring of the Up group in the social and solidarity economy is an important asset that will allow us to be a major player in Tunisia, “said Olfa Ben Abdallah, General Manager of Top Checks …

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                The US Administration has sent the Tunisian government “signs” suggesting that it is unwilling to give its guarantee to the $ 500 million loan Tunisia seeks to obtain from the international financial market, said sources quoted by weekly Al-Anwar.

                Washington would have invoked “political instability” that impact the country’s economy and the ratings of agencies such as Moody’s and Fitch that draw a dark picture of Tunisia’s economic outlook, said the same sources.

                When asked in Tunis about the possibility of providing this guarantee, US Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan merely indicated that the United States “studies this issue,” recalling that it had secured a loan of $ 1.5 billion in 2011.

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                  More than a million Libyans have visited Tunisia during the first ten months of the year, for health care, educational, political and personal safety reasons or simply to escape violence in their country, said Libya Herald website.

                  More specifically, 1,400,000 visitors from Libya came to Tunisia this year, i.e. an increase of 17% compared to the corresponding period of 2016 as confirmed by Minister of Tourism, Selma Elloumi.

                  These Libyan flows fit in an overall visitor growth this year of almost ¼ in foreign arrivals to Tunisia estimated so far to 6 million.

                  It is not clear if the minister’s Libyan visitor figures include those who have taken temporary refuge in the country.

                  It was estimated that there were as many as 250,000 Libyans living in Tunisia In 2015.

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                    A Jordanian trade and industrial delegation will Monday begin a working visit to Tunisia to take part in the deliberations of the Jordanian-Tunisian Business Forum, Petra reported on Sunday.

                    Heads of the Amman Chamber of Trade, Senator Issa Murad, and Industry, Zeiad Homsi, voiced hope this event will constitute a platform to launch fresh horizons of co-operation and to foster trade, said the same source.

                    They were quoted as saying bilateral trade at $29 million last year, still a modest figure, and urged to remove obstacles obstructing its growth.

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                    Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT), Chedly Ayari, announced a slight improvement in key economic indicators; even the beginnings of an economic recovery.

                    “The trend is positive and things are improving … this will be reflected in the figures that we will publish soon,” Ayari told reporters, on the sidelines of the Entrepreneurship Forum held on Thursday, November 16, 2017, on the initiative of the Arab Institute of Business Managers (IACE).

                    He pointed out that the Central Bank is stepping up efforts to avoid a slippage in the trade deficit by encouraging public and private banks not to finance imports and thereby encourage them to finance SMEs.

                    Speaking about the situation of the Tunisian dinar, Chedly Ayari said its disruption is not peculiar and is related to the state of the country’s economy, including trade, demand on the currency to finance the trade deficit, imports and commercial transactions.

                    “The currency depends on several economic, commercial and financial factors that mark the country in a specific period,” said Chedly Ayari, adding that the deficit is financed by the currency, which in turn will come only through the resumption of imports and investment, factors determining the recovery of the value of the dinar, according to him.

                    Without mentioning any figures, the governor of the BCT said the deterioration of the trade deficit is becoming more important today, one of the reasons which pushed the Central Bank, according to him, to take, in coordination with the Ministry of Commerce, a set of measures, the most important of which is to make it difficult to grant authorizations for the import of certain products considered as non-priority.

                    He also announced that the BCT is preparing to set up a research laboratory dedicated to the study of Blockchain technology, stressing however that this project is currently only an idea and that the work is currently focused on study of the feasibility and areas of intervention of this post-internet technology, according to his statements.

                    He estimated that this new technology far exceeds the issue of electronic banking and will reduce not only the cost but also the waiting times. “It’s a new technological dynamic stronger than the internet,” he said.

                    Ayari has in the same context indicated that the BCT is invited to organize an African summit on the Blockchain.

                    “We will discuss with “Paris Europlace” the possibility of organizing in Tunisia, and for the first time in Africa, an African summit on the Blockchain,” said Ayari, without mentioning the date of the holding of this Summit.

                    However, he said that despite the importance of this technology, the BCT aims to further develop modern financial technologies such as cashless, e-commerce, e-payment: “We want to focus on new financial techniques “, he said.

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                    An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, led by Ms. Corinne Deléchat, visited Yaoundé from February 20 March 6, 2017, to hold discussions toward a...