Breakfast Wrap: Egypt’s Stocks Defy Politics, Banks Push Dubai For Cash

Amid all the chaos and bad news, traders on Egypt’s stock exchange appeared oblivious to the developments outside the US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi.  The market, which traditionally reacts emotionally to political turmoil in the country, instead gained 0.5% yesterday.

But some traders say this was a short-lived blip with expectations leaning toward a drop today.

[caption id="attachment_537" align="aligncenter" width="614"] The week so far on the Egyptian stock exchange[/caption]

The hunt for the man behind the controversial anti-Islam film seems to be nearing.  AP suggested a man called Nakoula Basseley Nakoula could be behind the film.  He is a  California Coptic Christian convicted of financial crimes who acknowledged his role in managing and providing logistics for the production.

In a story in The National today, Steve Klein, a consultant to the movie, said that even though he and others involved in the film realised such attacks “could happen”, producers went ahead because they wanted to “shock” young Muslims into understanding “the truth about what Mohammed did”.

Egypt likely needs more than $10 billion of aid to help get its economy back on track, said a “Senior EU official” (unnamed) yesterday.

The official said the European Union and other institutions and countries were considering financial support for Egypt in addition to a $4.8 billion loan which Cairo has requested from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Perhaps President Morsi will meet this elusive “senior EU official” and hash out some kind of plan when he visits Brussels today in his first visit to Europe since he became president.

Palm Hills, Egypt’s second-biggest listed property developer and also battered by investigations into previous state land sales, slightly reduced its net loss for the first half to 80.7 million Egyptian pounds ($13.25 million) from 81.4 million pounds a year earlier.

It’s one of a handful of companies in the country that is also impacted by client cancellations because of its links to former president Hosni Mubarak.

Tourist numbers: Egypt’s tourist numbers rose 8.3% during July 2012, with over 1 million people visiting the nation, compared with  935,500 visiting in July 2011, according to an emailed statement I received from the government statistics agency. But that is still 22% less than 2010.  Ahram Online has a break down here.

International banks are losing patience with Dubai.  Three banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, Commerzbank and Standar Bank, have launched legal proceedings against Dubai Group, the investment arm of the Dubai Holding conglomerate owned by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, writes Simeon Kerr in the FT.

The banks are calling for immediate repayment of loans after abandoning talks aimed at restructuring the company’s $10bn in debts.

It gets more complicated in Sudan.  South Sudan could produce at least 300,000 barrels per day of oil when it resumes full production, but that may take until mid-2013 because of damage caused during its border dispute with Sudan, an oil official told Reuters yesterday.

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