News / Africa

Egyptian Turmoil Hurts Economy, Boosts Oil Prices

Egyptians wait at an automatic cash dispenser (ATM) in Cairo, Egypt, February 2, 2011
Egyptians wait at an automatic cash dispenser (ATM) in Cairo, Egypt, February 2, 2011

The political turmoil in Egypt has hurt the local economy and affected the everyday life of its people, while it has generated a sharp increase in oil prices around the world.

Curfews, travel restrictions and communications blackouts have stymied many Egyptians, while some subsidized bread distributions points were closed.

Banks remained closed on Thursday and there were few working automatic teller machines with cash for withdrawals.

International tourists, a key revenue source for the country, canceled their excursions to Egypt during what normally would be the country's peak winter travel season.

Egypt is not a major oil producer, but the unrest has sparked fears that protests could spread to oil-exporting countries elsewhere in the volatile Middle East and disrupt oil production. There have also been concerns about possible disruptions to shipping through the Suez Canal, although only a small percentage of the world's oil exports pass through Egypt.

The price of North Sea Brent crude oil, the benchmark for two-thirds of the world, advanced in London trading Thursday to a 28-month high, topping more than $103 a barrel before retreating a bit.  

As the protests against the 30-year rule of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak continued for a 10th day, a financial services firm, Fitch Ratings, downgraded Egypt's credit rating by one notch to BB. Fitch is the third company to cut Egypt's credit standing this week.

It said the downgrade reflected the "significant intensification of unrest" in the country and what is likely to be a "volatile transition" to a new government. Mr. Mubarak says he will not seek re-election in the scheduled September voting, but anti-government protesters have demanded that he quit now.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the Egyptian government's five-day blockage of Internet services in the country likely cost the national economy at least $90 million. The agency said the shutdown could make it more difficult for Egypt to attract international companies in the future if they do not think the country's Internet service is reliable.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid