Algeria’s Dwindling Petrodollars Drive Key OPEC Deal Broker

29 Nov 2016   Algeria

Africa’s biggest sovereign wealth fund slumps after oil crash Oil minister Boutarfa shuttles between capitals to find deal Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa’s shuttle diplomacy between Tehran, Moscow and Vienna before OPEC’s meeting on Wednesday underlines the North African nation’s desperation for a deal. The oil-market rout has seen Algeria burn through cash set aside during the boom years to plug a widening budget deficit. The country’s Revenue Regulation Fund, formerly one of Africa’s biggest state funds, is almost completely depleted after slumping 87 percent since 2013 to about $6.7 billion, according to finance ministry figures. With foreign exchange reserves eroding by more than a third over the same period to $121 billion in September, the authorities started borrowing from overseas for the first time in about two decades. This month, Algeria agreed a 900 million-euro ($996 million) loan from the African Development Bank and signaled more could follow. […]

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