Lafarge suspends production in Egypt
Cairo, January 31, 2011
French group Lafarge, the world's biggest cement producer, has halted production in Egypt because of the worsening political crisis in the country.
"There is not really any economic activity in Egypt at the present time, so we have adapted our capacity to the situation," a spokesman said on Monday, adding operations could restart if there was any change in the situation.
Protests to attempt to force Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak to quit intensified on Monday.
Lafarge entered the Egyptian market when it purchased the cement operations of Orascom Construction Industries in December 2007 for 8.8 billion euros ($12 billion).
Lafarge shares were down 2.2 percent at 1200 GMT, compared with a Europe construction and materials index down 0.8 percent.
Lafarge said on Sunday it had organised the temporary return of 30 expatriate employees based in Cairo and their families because of the political unrest. The decision took into account the international nature of certain activities based in Cairo and would not affect Egypt operations, it said. - Reuters