JEDDAH, March 27 (Reuters) – Down a narrow alleyway deep in
the Jeddah slum of Karantina, three women from Sudan have set up
stalls under colourful parasols, selling peanuts, hibiscus
petals, dried pulses, baskets, frankincense, calabashes and
They laugh and gossip in the sunshine, swathed in bright
printed cloth, while a scrawny black cat picks its way between
piles of rubbish. But when approached by a stranger, they are
CAIRO (Reuters) – A prominent Egyptian political activist accused of inciting violence against President Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood was released without bail on Tuesday after he turned himself in for questioning, the prosecutor general’s office said.
Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a blogger who became a symbol of the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was among five activists the prosecutor general ordered on Monday be arrested – a step the opposition decried as a reversal for democracy.
CAIRO, March 21 (Reuters) – Egypt’s revival of a scheme
meant to protect foreign buyers of government debt and stocks
will struggle to achieve a wider aim – easing an acute dollar
Earlier this month the central bank reopened a modified
version of a mechanism last used in 2003 which ring-fences
dollars invested in Egyptian securities.
LONDON/CAIRO, March 20 (Reuters) – When it raises tolls in
May, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority will know that fuel costs rule
out alternative routes, but some in the shipping industry say
the calculation could reach a tipping point if the risk of
delays from unrest increases.
Egypt’s economy has been in crisis since the 2011 overthrow
of Hosni Mubarak, with Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s
cash-strapped government grappling with sliding currency
reserves, falling tourism, a soaring budget deficit and a wave
of often violent street protests.
CAIRO, March 19 (Reuters) – Egypt plans to start rationing
subsidised bread, a minister said on Tuesday, taking a
politically risky step to restrict supplies of the cheap loaves
upon which many Egyptians depend as the state tries to save
Bassem Ouda, the supply minister, said the government would
start implementing rationing “after two months”. Trials of a
rationing system using electronic smart cards would begin in the
restive Suez Canal city of Port Said and its suburb Port Fouad.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Once parliamentary elections are out of the way, Egypt stands a chance of securing an International Monetary Fund loan to help address its currency and budget crisis; the problem is that no one knows when that will be.
With face-to-face contact between Egypt and the IMF re-established this week after a two-month gap, both sides are pushing for urgent action, but with strikingly different emphases.
CAIRO, March 17 (Reuters) – Egypt opened a scheme on Sunday
allowing foreign investors in its financial markets access to
dollars despite a hard currency shortage, a move which analysts
said aimed to attract external funding for the soaring state
The central bank said it was restarting a mechanism helping
foreign investors to repatriate their funds that was last used
in 2000-2003 – also a period of dollar shortages when the
Egyptian pound’s value fell sharply.
CAIRO, March 10 (Reuters) – Egypt does not need bridging
financing as offered by the International Monetary Fund to some
countries but rather broad structural measures to tackle its
budget deficit, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby said on
With its dollar reserves falling to critically low levels
and deficit soaring, the government says it wants to reopen
stalled negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF.
CAIRO, March 4 (Reuters) – Egypt has set limits on the
amount of shares local companies can transfer into
internationally-traded global depository receipts after a
controversial deal involving one of the country’s biggest firms.
Egypt’s financial watchdog made the ruling while a dispute
rages over a share offer that is likely to lead to Orascom
Construction Industries (OCI) leaving the Egyptian
stock market against the government’s wishes.
CAIRO, March 4 (Reuters) – A slide in Egypt’s foreign
reserves slowed sharply in February, central bank data showed on
Monday, but their low levels kept Cairo under heavy pressure to
secure an IMF loan.
The central bank, which has been tightly rationing dollar
supplies, said on its website that reserves slipped to $13.5
billion at the end of last month from $13.6 billion at the end