Egypt banks shut down
Cairo, January 29, 2011
Egypt's banks will be shut on Sunday, the first day of the business week, the deputy central bank governor said, a move analysts said could spook investors looking to trade after unprecedented countrywide protests.
Hisham Ramez also told Reuters the central bank's reserves were strong at $36 billion, banks were liquid and any capital flight by foreign investor 'hot money' would be short-lived.
Egypt has endured five days of often violent protests with people on the streets calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, who imposed a dusk to dawn curfew and ordered tanks onto the streets to restore order.
Ramez said banks would close on Sunday, adding: 'It is just a precaution until banks are ready to start work on Monday.'
The stock market, whose benchmark index tumbled 16 per cent in two days after the unrest erupted, will also be closed on Sunday. The Egyptian pound fell to six-year lows.-Reuters