Egypt Market Not To Shut Down on June 30 – Regulator Chief

Egypt has no plans to shut down its stock market on June 30 amid the calls for anti-president protests, the country’s financial regulator told Reuters Arabic on Sunday.

Dr. Ashraf Al-Sharkawy – the chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) – announced on Sunday that there are no plans to halt the trading sessions of June 30 as long as banks operate normally and communications are available.

Meanwhile, opposition parties plan to stage mass demonstrations on June 30 in protest seeking to topple the Brotherhood-led regime.

A group of peaceful Egyptian youth launched a campaign entitled “Tamarod” or “Rebel” last April in order to overthrow Morsi, who came to the office in 2012. Those youth, who launched the campaign, also called for massive demonstrations in 30th June 2013 across Egypt.

Since the beginning of this month, Egypt’s bourse has incurred massive losses as investors are in full alert to a potential second uprising.

“To halt the market is very easy, but the decision to resume trading after shutdown is difficult,” Dr. Al-Sharkawy added.

In 2011, the Egyptian bourse had been shut down for 38 sessions following popular uprising that eventually led to the ousting of long-time President Mohamed Mubarak.

Asked about emergency steps to be taken by the EGX and the EFSA in case that unrest breaks out on June 30, the financial regulator chief indicated that there are several actions that could be taken to protect the market. However, he declined to give further details.

Commenting on the remarks of MSCI that it may hold consultations over excluding Egypt from its MSCI Emerging Markets Index, Dr. Al-Sharkawy stated that Egypt was not excluded from the index.