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The New Egypt

Egypt rallies around the opening stock market

Marketplace Contributor Feb 18, 2011
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Let’s check in with the BBC’s Rob Young in Central Cairo talking about the stock exchange there. Hi Rob.

ROB YOUNG: Hi hello.

CHIOTAKIS: So when the market does indeed open, what’s likely to happen? Are we talking a big buying spree or a sell off?

YOUNG: Well many analysts think that the market will continue its slide because there are still so many unanswered questions about the way Egypt will be run in the future. However there is a Facebook campaign to try and persuade Egyptians to spend as much money as they can buying shares. More than 16,000 people have already agreed to sign up on Facebook and buy shares. Well, in the center of busy Cairo I spoke to the woman behind the Facebook campaign. And she told me why this campaign was important.

FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER: When people see that we as Egyptians we have faith in our stock market, we have faith in our economy — this will definitely reflect and have it’s implications on the whole world.

But they may well be no match for international investors who, say some analysts, will continue to pull their cash out of Cairo.

CHIOTAKIS: Hey Rob, how are businesses coping there?

YOUNG: If you ignore the tanks there is a sense of normality here in Cairo. The shops are open, and the street sellers are back in business. But the banks — they’ve been told to stay shut. It’s estimated weeks of protests have cost the country’s tourism, construction and manufacturing industries more than $1.5 billion.

CHIOTAKIS: The BBC’s Rob Young in Cairo. Rob thanks.

YOUNG: Thank you.

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