The Egyptian Exchange (www.egyptse.com) has decided to postpone its reopening until Wednesday 16 February. The stock exchange, based in Cairo, closed on 27 Jan after the main EGX 30 Index fell 16% in a week, and was due to open again yesterday (Sunday 13 Feb). The decision to delay the opening comes on the back of talks with regulators, stockbrokers and the Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry (MCDR, www.mcsd.com.eg).
When the exchange reopens steps are expected to be in place to stop precipitous falls and price fluctuations. Many foreigners had sought to take out money and it is not yet clear how sentiment will shape up following the resignation of former President Hosni Mubarak on 11 Feb and the army take over pending democratic elections scheduled for six months time. The EGX says it is working on technical requirements needed to start trading as well as procedures to be used as soon as the trading begins. Telecommunications and Internet services may also have been disrupted.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (13 Feb) that late yesterday the Central Bank of Egypt (www.cbe.org.eg) said that banks in Egypt will close on Monday and Tuesday due to workers’ strikes and the birth of Prophet Mohammad. Its emailed statement reads: “Amidst the strikes of worker in some authorities, including public banks … the central bank has decided to close banks on Monday Feb. 14 and Tuesday Feb. 15 on the occasion” of Prophet Mohammad’s birth.
Meanwhile schools and universities were reported to be reopening over the past weekend and many industries had said they were back and working close to normal by 7 Feb.