Egypt’s central bank has ordered all banks in the country to remain closed on Thursday after closing early Wednesday in the face of violence protests in the region.
Banks were told on Wednesday to shut by 2 p.m, local time instead of 5 p.m., when the military deadline for President Morsi to agree to a power-sharing deal expires, an ultimatum that Morsi has rejected.
Clashes between security forces and pro-Morsi protesters have erupted all across Egypt and have resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people and left hundreds more injured, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
The violence has resulted in a monthlong state of emergency being called by Interim President Adly Mansour, who has also ordered the armed forces to support police in restoring law and order to the disrupted cities.
The camps that were cleared Wednesday in Cairo had been the catalyst of protests since former President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the Egypt's military on July 3, with thousands calling for his reinstatement. Banks in Egypt have been ordered to close in the past, resulting in some Western financial institutions pulling out staff and closing for extended periods of time. This has led to loss of capital from the economy that has damaged Egypt in the long term and resulted in rules being put in place that limit the amount of cash that can be taken out of the country.
“There is a $100,000 lifetime limit and a $6,000 annual limit on taking money out of the country at the moment,” Raslan said. “Instead, people are now smuggling money out, which is also damaging the economy. People are so keen to get money out, they are even willing to pay up to 40 percent of the total transfer on the black market.”