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Cairo stock exchange to reopen next Sunday

On Monday 7 February 2011, 16:39 EST

The stock exchange is to reopen on Sunday, two weeks after it was closed with share prices plunging due to the outbreak of Egypt's political crisis, the body's spokesman said.

The Cairo bourse closed down 10 points on the day on January 27, after 70 billion Egyptian pounds (12 billion dollars) was wiped off shares in 48 hours, and authorities initially decided to keep it shut until January 30.

Egypt has been in the grip of largescale street protests against President Hosni Mubarak, spooking domestic and international investors, but economic life has gradually been returning to normal after the start of political talks.

"The exchange, closed because of events, will reopen February 13. Between now and then the situation should stabilise," spokesman Hisham Turk told AFP.

"The banking system should by then be working at full capacity and the opening should be steady," he explained.

Egypt's banks were also temporarily closed during the crisis, amid fears that depositors would rush to withdraw their cash, but reopened on Sunday when long lines formed in front of many branches.