Saturday, February 5, 2011

The economic hit-men have descended on Egypt ?

The economic hit-men have hit Egypt?

....If Obama had really wanted Mubarak gone all he had to do was call PM D. Cameron in the UK and the Swiss Government, then tell them to investigate this and how about seizing some of it in the mean time....

Egypt's crisis is good news for the stock markets of the USA and EU (Investors pull $7bn from emerging funds)

Money is pouring out of Egypt, and out of countries like India, and into the USA, Europe and Japan....

Emerging markets attracted $95bn in 2010.

Egypt has changed things.

According to Cameron Brandt, a global markets analyst:

"Since the fourth quarter, the perception of where the value lies in the equity markets has shifted pretty decisively toward the developed markets.

"If you were thinking of making the switch, Egypt gave you a nudge."

In 2011, India equities are down 11%.

(Could this be linked to the

Many investors are switching their money to the US, Europe and Japan, in order to avoid riots and bombs.

Cairo by Marwa Morgan

Naguib Sawiris, the chairman of Egypt's Orascom Telecom, told the Financial Times (Business calls for unity alliance) that the protesters "are losing support in the street: many people are against their demand of President Mubarak to leave.

"They worry about stability and people want to go back to their business.

"Already people are short of food and money (and) businesses are going bust."

He estimates that the unrest could wipe 10 per cent off Egypt's gross domestic product.

At the beginning of 2011, the economy was expected to grow by about 6 per cent.

On Sunday Egypt's banks are set to reopen their doors

"Many analysts say that foreign capital could pour out of the country once the banking system reopens, but concerns over domestic
bank runs have also been mounting as Egypt’s political upheaval continues."

Photos via The National, Egypt.

Egyptian financial crisis looms

Economists are warning that if Egypt's turmoil continues much longer, the country will not have enough currency reserves to avoid a long term financial crisis.

Currency traders said on Monday that investors have transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of the country since the start of the protests six days ago.

Banks are still closed throughout Egypt and markets are suspended. Many fear that once they open, millions of dollars will be withdrawn additionally.

The government had $36bn in foreign reserves at the end of December, central bank figures showed, which suggest there is no immediate danger of a balance of payments crisis, however; scenes of chaos at Cairo's main airport, as both foreigners and Egyptians try to get flights out of the country, indicated outflows of money could reach damaging levels over the medium term.

"People are running out of money, this is clear. We expect that when banks do reopen, there will be quite a run," said one Cairo banker.

Economists also worry about how the protests will affect Egypt's Suez Canal, a crucial artery that processes 10 per cent of world trade. So far the canal has been operating as usual during the protests. -- Al Jazeera

~ ~ ~

According to Al Jazeera, the Egyptian Central Bank has just imposed a withdrawal limit of $10,000 on all banks in order to prevent a systemic bank run that will promptly wipe out what is left of the financial system. Look for this number to be cut to $100 in the first several minutes after banks reopen (whenever that actually happens). -- Zero Hedge

~ ~ ~

Hisham Ezz al Arab, the chairman and managing director of Egypt's largest private financial institution Commercial International Bank (CIB), said last night the biggest threat to the economy would be if banks remained shut for another two weeks.

While CIB could last at least 30 days without opening, Mr al Arab said it could have stark impacts on the rest of the system.

"Honestly, I think this won't happen and that banks will open again on Sunday," he said. "But that is the biggest risk … Egypt is very important for the rest of the world.

"If Egypt goes into chaos, the entire Middle East will go into chaos and problems will spread to Europe. Then we will have bigger things to worry about than the stock markets being closed."

But on the ground in Cairo, the situation grows more stark. Cash machines throughout Egypt could run out within three to four days, said the chief executive of an Egyptian bank, who declined to be named.

"We need to open the banks soon so people can get their basic needs," he said. "But it's very risky transporting cash on the streets. The central bank was clear in their message to banks - they said they will not open the banks until the security is up to the acceptable level."

Some in Egypt are already having difficulty finding cash, while others reported problems finding food.

Mohamed Homdy, an Egyptian living in Abu Dhabi, said family members in Cairo had considered leaving but were intimidated by the chaos at the airport.

"The main issue is buying food - people are hoarding," Mr Homdy said, adding that shopkeepers were charging three to four times the normal price for bottles of water. -– The National

BP worked hand in glove with the Mubarak Dictatorship...

As if there weren't enough reason to hate BP for trashing the Gulf, BP has apparently been supporting Egyptian dictator Mubarak as well.

As the Guardian notes:

BP has been criticized by the non-governmental organization Platform, which claims the oil company had with other British and American oil companies "worked hand in glove with dictatorship."

The environmental and social justice group also said Hesham Mekawi, the BP Egypt chairman, has praised "the stability of the country" and claimed BP had allowed the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo - of which it is a member - to put pressure on US Congress not to support a recent motion calling on Mubarak to hold fair elections and respect human rights.


BP has made Egypt one of its top priorities after a major gas find in the Nile Delta last summer. It hopes to more than double its oil and gas production to over 320,000 barrels a day – almost a tenth of its global output....