The head of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council, Abdullah bin Mahfouz, has said that the collapsing Egyptian pound threatens Saudi investments in Egypt due to differences in the value of Egypt's currency. “The dollar is 7.7 pounds on the black market and about seven pounds in the banks,” he said.
Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper on Monday quoted bin Mahfouz as saying that, more than anything else, the demonstrations currently gripping Egypt will affect the economy, adding that Saudi investments in Egypt are mostly in the service industry.
For his part, Ali Eshqy, head of the Middle East Center for Political and Strategic Studies said that the ongoing demonstrations in Egypt have severely limited the scope of the state budget and forced foreign investors to think about pulling out.
He told Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper that the corruption that prevailed under former President Mubarak, which he says the current government is trying to stamp out, is a major problem facing Saudi investment in Egypt.
He added that tourism, which is an important source of national income, is completely paralyzed, and that the unemployment rate has increased significantly.
“What is happening is destroying the economy and putting at risk aid that Egypt receives from several countries,” he said.