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Egypt's Mubarak stays in power, businesses stay closed

An anti-government salutes gestures before a speech by Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: To Egypt now, where demonstrators on the streets are reacting to news that President Hosni Mubarak remains in his post, at least for the time being. Details are sketchy, but Mubarak told the nation he's going to transfer some of his power to the Vice President. But the uncertainty is continuing to have a profound effect on Egypt's economy.

The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi is with us from Cairo. Good morning.

MAGDI ABDELHADI: Good morning.

CHIOTAKIS: The Egyptian stock market was supposed to open this weekend. Some businesses had resumed business last week. How are these latest developments factoring into those items?

ABDELHADI: There are violent confrontations and I can expect the stock market to maybe postpone opening on Monday. All businesses will be worried. I mean I noticed that some businesses that were supposed to be open basically shops on the street, did not open in anticipation possibly of some trouble. So clearly any prospect of protracted crisis will impact negatively on the economy at large and even small businesses.

CHIOTAKIS: These additional protests are they prolonging the uncertainty there?

ABDELHADI: I would think so. This country relies heavily on tourism. And having come to some kind of a stand still people, tourists, aren't simply coming to Egypt. Out of fear of violence and things might get even worse. And generally, you know, businesses like stability and predictability and Egypt seems to have neither of these two factors at this stage. This is hardly surprising that the country is losing so much money and may even lose more if the uncertainty continues and things get even more unstable.

CHIOTAKIS: The BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi, joining us from Cairo. Magdi, thank you.

ABDELHADI: You're most welcome.

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