By Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party, has elected Mohamed Djemai, a businessman, as its new leader, state television said on Tuesday, a month after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika quit in the face of mass protests. Bouteflika's exit however has not quieted protesters, who are now demanding the dismantling of an entire ruling elite entrenched for decades, a shift towards more democracy and a crackdown on systemic corruption and cronyism. The 50-year-old Djemai, whose business interests have included smartphones, is a relatively youthful figure atop the FLN, most of whose senior officials are in their 70s and have dominated Algeria since independence from France in 1962. Djemai replaces Moad Bouchareb, who like other associates of the ailing, 82-year-old Bouteflika stepped down when he did. Until presidential elections on July 4, Algeria - a major oil and gas producer - will be run by Abdelkader Bensalah, … [Read more...] about Algeria’s ruling party names relatively young new leader amid protests
Algeria central bank
ALGIERS (Reuters) - An Algerian court has summoned former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two associates of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in a probe into wasting of public money, state TV said on Saturday. They are being investigated over "dissipation of public money" and "illegal privilege," state TV said. No more details were immediately available. The move comes after army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said last week he expected to see members of the ruling elite in the major oil and natural gas-producing country prosecuted for corruption. Bouteflika stepped down after 20 years in power two weeks ago, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations mainly by young people seeking change in the country. But the protests, which began on Feb. 22 and have been largely peaceful, have continued as many want the removal of an elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962 and the prosecution of … [Read more...] about Algiers court summons former PM Ouyahia in public waste probe
CAIRO (Reuters) - Algeria's interim president Abdelkader Bensalah appointed Ammar Haiwani as acting central bank governor, Ennahar TV reported on Saturday. Haiwani is a former Deputy Governor of the bank, Ennahar said. Bensalah also appointed Mohammed Wart as new Director General of Customs, Ennahar added. (Writing by Hesham Hajali, Editing by William Maclean) … [Read more...] about Algeria interim president appoints acting central bank governor
Business review from the Economist Saudi Aramco reveals huge sales and profits In a prospectus published ahead of a huge bond sale, Saudi Aramco revealed for the first time how much money it makes. Saudi Arabia's state oil firm reaped $356 billion in revenue last year. Annual net profit came to $111 billion, almost twice that of Apple, the world's most valuable listed company. The prospectus also confirmed how important Saudi Aramco is to the country's economy. Oil accounted for 63 percent of the state's revenue in 2017 and 43 percent of the kingdom's GDP. Saudi Arabia's cut in oil output has helped drive up the commodity's price in recent months. Brent crude traded around $70 a barrel last week, the highest level this year. The World Trade Organization released an estimate for global trade in 2018, which grew by 3 percent, well below the 3.9 percent that the WTO had forecast in September. It expects the growth in trade to fall to 2.6 percent this year. The organization blamed … [Read more...] about Economist briefs: Saudi Aramco reveals huge sales, profits
For those observing the crisis in Venezuela, it can feel like tragedy in slow motion. The country is in the grips of the most extreme monetary crisis of our time–with inflation recently reaching 1,000,000%--and since 2013 has seen an economic contraction worse than the Great Depression. Once one of the richest countries in South America, the economy is in ruins, livelihoods are shattered, and starvation and violence are rampant. The past weeks have seen the state-backed military attacks against its own citizens queued up for humanitarian aid and blackouts across the country. A range of issues have contributed to the crisis, over-dependence on crude oil and crippling sanctions from Western powers among them. Another major driver has been monetary mismanagement of the bolivar, Venezuela’s national currency. For over a decade, Venezuelan regimes have instituted strict capital, foreign exchange and price controls on its currency, making it virtually impossible for those … [Read more...] about Digital money is here: Will it make us more free–or less?