Updated: February 20, 2011 14:48 IST

Egyptian banks reopen after week of shutdown amid employee protests

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Egyptians line up in front of a bank in Cairo, Egypt. File photo
Egyptians line up in front of a bank in Cairo, Egypt. File photo

Banks across Egypt were reopening their doors Sunday after being shut down last week by strikes by employees at state-owned banks alleging corrupt practices.

Last week, the central bank urged all banking sector employees to resume work “to ensure the stability of the national economy.” It also promised to hold meetings with representatives from each bank to discuss their demands with senior management in the presence of the governor of the central bank.

It remained unclear, however, when the Egyptian stock exchange would reopen. How banks handle their re-opening is expected to be an indication of when the market can return to normal activity.

The stock exchange was closed on January 30 after nationwide political turmoil had sent the benchmark EGX30 index plunging by 17 per cent of its value in its last week of trading.

The 18 days of unrest eventually forced President Hosny Mubarak to step down on February 11.

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