Western corporations Shell, GM and Electrolux pull out staff, shut offices and halt production in Egypt
following the Egypt
Morsi crackdown (Photo: Reuters)
Oil giant Shell has temporarily shut its offices in Egypt, while Sweden's Electrolux and US' General Motors have halted production in the country, as the death toll continues to rise following the Wednesday massacre that has killed 525 people.
Shell, one of the world's largest oil companies, said it will close its Egypt-based office for at least a few days, while also restricting business travel, after the military crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Cairo.
A spokesperson for the company did not confirm the number of staff that would be affected.
"To ensure the safety and security of our staff, Shell offices in Egypt are closed for business today and into the weekend and business travel into the country has been restricted. We will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt," said the spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Swedish home appliances maker, Electrolux said it had temporarily halted all production in Egypt until Saturday.
"(Electrolux) chose to discontinue production yesterday afternoon through today," said Daniel Frykholm, spokesman at the Swedish group.
"In light of the unrest we have been reducing activities on a day to day basis. We evaluate the security situation and then decide whether people should go to work."
Electrolux employs 7,000 people in Egypt and makes a turnover of $308m (€232m, £198m) a year in the country.
The US' GM said it has ceased production at its assembly plant in the 6th of October City in Egypt. It added that it has also shut its local office following the deadly clases.
In July, British energy company BG Group pulled 100 expatriate staff and dependents out of Egypt, and confirmed that there was no change to report.
Financial Market Deterioration
Oil prices have rocketed to a four-month high on fears of the escalating violence in Egypt negatively impacting the Suez canal.
On Wednesday, the military cracked down on protestors and has, so far, brought the death toll up to 525 people while thousands have been severely injured.
Egypt's stock exchange is to remain closed until Sunday and banks will also be keeping their doors shut.
Meanwhile, the cost for Egypt insuring their debt rose to the highest level in six weeks, after the security forces broke up Cairo protest camps set up by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt's five-year credit default swaps rose 30 basis points to 800 bps.
Overall, Egypt's national index may have rallied 23% since Morsi's removal, but the index dropped 1.7% in response to yesterday's violence.
ETX Capital's market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi says to expect further deterioration of national stock market.
"My EGX-30 Index target for year-end has been revised down to 5100 from 5350 forecasted in July 2013," he added.
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