S. Sudan Says Renegotiating Oil Deal with Sudan

A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)
A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)
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S. Sudan Says Renegotiating Oil Deal with Sudan

A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)
A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)

South Sudan said Monday it was renegotiating an oil deal with Khartoum, as it will not meet a December deadline to finish paying $3 billion (2.7 billion euros) agreed as compensation for the oil-rich nation's 2011 secession.

South Sudan and Sudan in 2012 signed a deal in which Juba would pay the amount after it voted for independence, taking with it 70 percent of the oil fields Khartoum used to manage.

Petroleum Minister Awou Daniel Chuang told journalists that the cash-strapped nation had paid $2.4 billion so far, but would not manage to pay the remaining $600 million by December.

"As the contract expires, we should be able to extend (the deadline) because we cannot run operations in a vacuum. This agreement is what governs the fees that we pay to Sudan," he said, according to AFP.

He said talks on extending the deadline would start by the end of October, adding that a team from Juba was already in Khartoum working on the issue.

Chuang said the money was paid back by deducting $15 from each barrel of oil from South Sudan -- which is processed in Sudan's refineries.

However, years of fighting crippled oil production and payments fell behind.

South Sudan plunged into war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice president Riek Machar of plotting a coup.

Multiple attempts at peace have failed but in September 2018 the warring parties signed an agreement to form a unity government, which would see Machar return to government as vice president.

However, the formation of a unity government has been dogged by delays, and the new deadline for its formation is November 12.

At its peak, oil production in South Sudan was at 350,000 barrels a day. Since the signing of a peace deal in September 2018, production has increased from 135,000 to 178,000 barrels a day.



Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egypt's Central Bank Leaves Key Interest Rates Unchanged

A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A general view of Dahab Island or Gold Island (Gezirit el-Dahab) in the middle of the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2024. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt's central bank left its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, as expected, saying economic growth remained slow but that inflation has been decreasing.
The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) left the deposit rate at 27.25% and the lending rate at 28.25%.
All but one of 18 analysts in a Reuters poll had expected rates to remain unchanged, with the sole analyst forecasting a cut of 100 basis points (bps).
The decision keeps the overnight deposit rate below that of headline inflation, which was 27.5% in June. Real interest rates have been negative since January 2022. Inflation declined in June for a fourth straight month after soaring to a record 38% in September.
The MPC expects inflation to come down sharply in the first half of 2025.
"The gradual unwinding of food inflation along with the improvement of inflation expectations suggest that inflation is on a sustained downward trajectory," the MPC said.
Gross domestic product inched down to an annualized 2.2% in the first quarter from 2.3% in the final quarter of 2023, the MPC added.
"Leading indicators for Q2 2024 suggest that economic activity remains subdued. Consequently, real GDP growth is expected to slow down in FY 2023/24 compared to the previous fiscal year, before recovering in FY 2024/25," it said.
Egypt reported GDP of 3.8% in 2022/23.
The central bank raised interest rates by 600 bps on March 6 as part of an agreement with the IMF, bringing total increases since the beginning of the year to 800 bps. Egypt also sharply devalued its currency against the dollar under its IMF accord.