Share prices on the Egypt Exchange declined on Monday a day after Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzuri said the country’s economic problems were worse than previously thought.
The main EGX-30 index shed 2.06 percent to 3,882.17 points at the close of trading, with analyst Walid al-Abidin linking the drop “to the remarks made by Ganzuri.”
The index has slumped 45.64 percent since the start of the year, with the economy hit hard by instability in the aftermath of popular protests that ousted veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February.
Ganzuri, who was appointed Egypt’s premier by the ruling military on November 25, said on Sunday that “the economic situation is a lot more serious than what we thought.”
He highlighted problems in the energy sector in particular, which he said was partly a result of “embezzlement over the last 10 years” during Mubarak’s administration.
“The oil sector, a real gold mine for other countries of the world, is indebted to banks to the tune of 61 billion Egyptian pounds (10 billion dollars, 7.65 billion euros),” he said.
Ganzuri also estimated the budget deficit in this financial year at nearly 134 billion Egyptian pounds, saying he was “looking to reduce it by 20 billion pounds.”