US debt crisis could hit Suez Canal revenues

Ahram Online, Wednesday 3 Aug 2011

Slowdown in major economies could put the brakes on global shipping and prune a key source of Egyptian income, warns canal chairman

Suez Canal
Canal revenues sailed through Egypt's political upheaval but global economics could pose a problem (Photo: Reuters)

The US debt crisis could combine with a slowdown in the eurozone and China to squeeze international trade and bring a downturn in Suez Canal shipping, the chairman of the Suez Canal Authority has warned.

Ahmed Fadel's comments were reported the financial daily newspaper Al Mal.
Figures released yesterday showed revenues for the canal hit a record high of US$5.05 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. 
Navigation on the canal -- one of Egypt's main money-earners -- was unaffected by 2011's revolution, with revenes for the first half of the calendar year reaching $2.5bn, up 12.7 per cent on the same period in 2010.
Suez Canal revenues are, along with tourism and overseas remittances, a major component of Egypt's foreign currency reserves.
On Wednesday an Egyptian paper reported that military and police forces are heightening security at the canal over fears of terrorist attacks by armed jihadist groups working on the Sinai peninsula. 
The daily, Al Masry Al Youm, cited a security source saying authorities had information armed groups might use the opportunity of the former president's trial to carry out an attack similar to the one that targeted a police station in Arish on Friday and led to five deaths.
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