Banks across Egypt open for first time since unrest

Financial institutions prepare for large cash withdrawals from foreign investors, local businessmen skittish over political crisis.

Egypt Protests Tanks 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Egypt Protests Tanks 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Banks in Cairo's financial district and across Egypt on Sunday opened for the first time since anti-government protests and demonstrations erupted over a week ago, Reuters reported.
Bankers from 341 branches, 152 in Cairo, prepared for chaos in dealing with foreign investors and local businessmen who looked to escape the Egyptian pound after the demonstrations crippled a majority of the economy and disrupted vital sources which contributed to foreign exchange.
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Armored military vehicles were positioned at city intersections, soldiers constructed barriers with sandbags and employees were dropped off by bus at large national banks.
Banks will potentially witness large cash withdrawals by Egyptians who fear that their access to their funds may be restricted as well as a lack of trade between banks in the domestic money market due to the political crisis which has yet to be resolved.
On Saturday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak assembled his economy team to discuss the economic crisis caused in the country as a result of political upheaval.
The political crisis that has engulfed the country since Jan. 25 has cost Egypt an estimated $3.1 billion, with the ensuing violence driving a nation once seen as a pillar of stability to the brink of chaos.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in EgyptClick here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt