Guest Post: Investors Beware - Egypt’s Revolution Is Not Over

Tyler Durden's picture

Courtesy of OilPrice Premium

Investors Beware: Egypt’s Revolution Is Not Over

In April, Egypt will hold crucial parliamentary elections. Preparations for this are being undertaken against an extremely volatile backdrop of violent protests, a state of emergency in three key provinces, weapons caches discovered in Cairo, and growing calls from radical Salafi forces who think the Muslim Brotherhood has far too moderate an agenda.

All of these should be warning signs for investors, if economic indicators aren’t enough.

Popular Uprising, Take II

A number of developments over the past months, weeks and days have triggered country-wide unrest in Egypt, which was already volatile.

  • The Muslim Brotherhood president made a very controversial power grab in order to push through an Islamist constitution that has sparked fears among Christians who have no rights under this constitution, and mass protests by those who originally launched the revolution
  • Muslim protesters attempted to storm a Coptic Christian church in Luxor in the country’s south and attacked Christian-run shops and Christian-owned vehicles after rumors that a Christian man had sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl. Police dispersed the marauders with tear gas. Christians claim the accusations are false and purposefully intended to spark protests and violence, blaming a local Salafi group that is attempting to enforce its own brand of Sharia law in the area.
  • A Coptic man who was an outspoken atheist was sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy. This particular case has done much to increase the community’s fears of what is to come under the new constitution.
  • Trials of security forces responsible for violence against protesters in 2011 have fallen short of the justice demanded by the general population
  • Verdicts were handed down late last week against civilians involved in the violence that broke out at soccer match a year ago. 21 people were sentenced to death, sparking mass protests and clashes with security forces this week. As of 31 January, more than 50 people had been killed and a state of emergency was imposed and the military was deployed the provinces surrounding the three main flashpoints: Port Said, Suez and Ismailiyah.

Forces Line Up Against the Muslim Brotherhood

The secular opposition in Egypt is out in full force, and its power is being boosted by these recent protest developments. The military - which loyally maintains its own Facebook page - has informed the public that the government faces collapse. On another front, radical Salafi figures are plotting the Brotherhood’s demise.

While it is the Western tendency to toss the various Salafi groupings and political parties in with the Muslim Brotherhood, the reality is that the Brotherhood has some moderate Salafi allies, but the more radical groups are hoping to make a power grab to sideline the Brotherhood. There is a new figure emerging from the dust of this power play, and that is the dangerously charismatic Hazem Abu Ismail. Abu Ismail is forming his own coalition and has had significant success in luring away the Brotherhood’s supporters and forming a radical coalition to challenge the Muslim Brotherhood in April parliamentary elections.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the military have only a very shaky alliance. Despite President Morsi’s recent moves to chip away at the military’s power by removing key generals and replacing them with someone believed to be more sympathetic to the Brotherhood cause, the president may have underestimated the effect of this move.

Amid these latest, ongoing riots and the state of emergency, the military is attempting to present itself as the savior of the people. It is the military’s perception that they are responsible for making the 2011 revolution happen in the first place, but they overlook the population’s sense of betrayal when the military aligned itself with the Muslim Brotherhood and hijacked the revolution. For now, the population does not seem to be buying in to the military’s attempts to paint itself as the protector of the protest movement, while police clash with demonstrators and deaths, injuries and arrests mount.

The military has a tendency to play a quiet game in the background and hedge its bets. Its statement on Facebook is a clear message, though, that it is ready to step in and take over at the next sign of imminent government collapse. It may even be ready to help that collapse manifest more quickly.

So, the Brotherhood faces mounting opposition on three fronts: the secular opposition, the military (whose loyalty is uncertain), and Salafi radicals coming at them from an entirely different and potentially more dangerous angle.

Economic Disaster

Egypt’s tourism revenues—the economy’s mainstay—are down from $14 billion annually in 2010 to $6 billion in 2012. Only 7 million tourists visited Egypt in 2011, down from 14 million in 2010. While the first half saw a slight rebound, this will again be reversed due to the current atmosphere of violence and uncertainty.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has also taken a major hit, which has declined at a rate of over 90% since the revolution and in comparison to 2009-2010. Here’s where the math gets really bad: In the first half of 2010 there was new FDI of $4.1 billion. The first half of 2011 saw $100 million in net OUTFLOW of FDI. Again, the first half of 2012 indicated a rebound, but it was only temporary. 

Foreign currency reserves have fallen by $21 billion, and Egypt now has enough reserves for less than 3 months of imports (not enough to get it to elections). Inflation is soaring and full-scale currency devaluation looks imminent. The population is hoarding dollars as the Egyptian pound continues to lose value. This panic was exacerbated in January when the president banned citizens from leaving the country with more than $10,000 in cash, which sparked an immediate run on banks’ foreign currency reserves. Austerity measures are necessary, and this will add more fuel to the fires in terms of socio-economic unrest.

Caught Between Libya and Syria: Too Many Weapons, Too Much Meddling

In the meantime, Qatar is using Egypt as a sort of springboard to fame. Qatar is for all intents and purposes the banker of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it has vowed to do whatever it takes to ensure that the Brotherhood does not lose power in Egypt. So far, on the official level, that has resulted in financial aid to stem currency devaluation. This aid has already started coming in, but will not be enough. In return for this Qatari largesse, Egypt has had to throw the Qataris a few perks: 1) it will half to provide “technical support” to the Syrian rebels (and Salafi militants by default) in Syria; 2) Qataris have been exempted from Egypt’s new rules governing foreign ownership, which keep foreigners from having sole proprietorships or simple partnerships.

The conflicts in Libya (which should be considered ongoing) and Mali reverberate in Egypt. Both conflicts have opened up a transnational Salafi jihadist pipeline that extends all the way from Libya to Syria (and branches out in numerous places along the way). Egypt is the central venue for that pipeline, and recent weapons caches discovered there were likely bound for the Syrian theater. Libya has created a mini-industry for arms that seems to have no end to supplies.

This all adds a very dangerous element to Egypt’s domestic political crisis and the intensifying unrest.

Conclusion

The Egyptian government is facing potential collapse and a re-run of a revolution that has never really ended. The economy is facing total collapse, and Qatari aid efforts will only go so far. The first half of 2013 will produce only worse economic indicators and the market will feed off of this. The regulatory environment in the meantime remains uncertain at best, and much will depend on which group (or combination of groups) comes out on top after the dust settles and if April elections indeed proceed. If this turns out to be a successful power grab by radical Salafi forces, it will not proceed without a great deal of bloodshed, and it will destroy Egypt’s investment climate.

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Say What Again's picture

BULLISH

.

 

There is no reason for panic...  VIX to 10 in a few days.

Doomer's picture

Yes, indeed.  And if Americans are murdered or taken hostage?  SUPER DUPER MEGA BULLISH!

BUY THE F$%KING REVOLUTION, BITCHEZ!

Say What Again's picture

I like that.

BTFR!!!

Does Simon Potter work the after-hours sessions?

Who will be at the helm to push the VIX down, if the revolution starts in the night?

knukles's picture

Conspiracy to Goose The S&P to Goose the Economy

See, we support the overthrow of a reasonably secular (totalitarian, people unfriendly, no freedom) half assed western friendly military government to install by violent means in the best traditions of the American Revolution (and some circus for the telly) a new and unimproved still hostile toward its citizenry and perhaps even more so, aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, et al, that Chuck Hegel (LOL the Hegelian Dialectic) can say was properly, peacefully and legally elected so as to ensure that via the Arab Spring (fucked up "nice" term.. y'all ever notice it just sorta sprung into existence one day all of a sudden... big lie, propaganda stuff folks) is installed troughout MENA meaning that there's a true solid, in place, no fucking questions asked, handy, hostile foe against which to pursue the long war thereby fueling the MIC, money laundering, arms trade, etc, so that there's fiscal stimulus as the west fights, thereby goosing the S&P and thereby fueling an economic recovery

Bullshit

Paul Krugman has got to be schooging in his panties.

philipat's picture

It's called self-detrmination and is probably better than preudo-democratic fascism.

fourchan's picture

meet the new boss.

 

 

 

 

same as the old boss.

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

You forgot the bit where the Muslim Brotherhood refused the $5 billion installment of American aid...but then the military said Yes...then they placed a $5 billion order for American bombs and guns and jets

Funny how this shit all just keeps circling around with the military/banker complex making a killing, in more ways than one

Bunga Bunga's picture

Speaker sounds like he's sitting on the bowl and pressing.

Say What Again's picture

Hey Brasco,

That was interesting info.

I forwarded the URL to a few of my hacking friends. 

Let us know when they contact you.

CPL's picture

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Great sound tool.  Removes white noise and bathroom tin noises.

http://www.gimp.org.

Makes stock photos more interesting than what came in the Win 7 sample photos.  Or go to www.4chan.org/b/ and ask for business pictures.  I'm pretty sure someone will deliver a nice set.

http://opensourcemusic.com/

Great for a back track to mix with your monster truck toliet rumble.

Windows Movie Maker - does the trick.  If you want to try something open source and different.

ProjectX - http://sourceforge.net/projects/project-x/  Available for all platforms.  You know all that crap in Adobe After Effects.  It doesn't do that.  However it's free and it has some nice syncing tools to beat mix video.

 

Now go do it again, but better this time.  Congratulations on holding shares in a company that has an EPS of nearly minus eight bucks I'm sure your penny millionaire newsletter is doing well.

 

Say What Again's picture

Brasko,

.

Do you have any idea how that malware got into your site?

NoWayJose's picture

And to throw gasoline onto these flames, is none other than Helicopter Ben and Abe-zilla who have pumped up commodity prices across the globe.  Egyptians may complain about their leaders, but when they cannot afford food, they will rise up yet again.

localsavage's picture

They will just eat the Christians.

Rogue Trooper's picture

de ja vu...?

... ad bestias BitCHez!

Wilcat Dafoe's picture

How long before Israel gets/creates its excuse to reoccupy Sinai? 

All part of the plan.  Variations on a theme.  tick tick tick...

 

 

booboo's picture

With some help from BOeing they has some fastered jetz too, butz we leaves out the CD playerz cuz mooslims don't play games, they quit kindergaten on account of recess.

MSimon's picture

Can they do a better job with it than the Egyptians? Will the rocket farms of Gaza get relocated farther south?

Poor Grogman's picture

So I guess they will be joining the EU shortly...

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

The more Islamic the leadership the less they respect private property rights, Egypt isnt' capitalist friendly, no sane investor would spend a dime in this country.

falak pema's picture

predators don't like OTHER predators.

NotApplicable's picture

Here, let me help you.

The more ________ the leadership the less they respect private property rights. _______ isn't capitalist friendly, no sane investor would spend a dime in this country.

No charge for fixing the typos, either.

Freddie's picture

Damn - I wish Americans had half the guts the Egyptians have.  They are fighting against the Skeet shootin muslim's pals in the Mo Bro Hood/Al Qeada's takeover of Egypt.   This was a Hope & Change coup.  I really admire the Egpyptians fighting against this scum.

Americans are just TV and Hollywood brainwashed sheep.

IridiumRebel's picture

Riot Cam! When is Morsi gonna start using the American gifts we gave him on the folks outside in Tahrir Square? Light em' up with some 'Merican F-16s! U-S-A!!!!!!

CPL's picture

Jet's don't fly by magic.  For that you need a commodity the commerical airlines are having a tough time getting their hands on cheaply.  Fuel.

They can make more planes and money, but they can't make fuel fast enough for all hands because the refinery capacity is in the gutter.  

Maybe they could push them.

disabledvet's picture

This actually is a big deal...slowly but surely America is being drawn in. (dead Ambassador anyone?) I don't see an actual "front line" appearing as of yet...but I would argue it's just a matter of time (months? Weeks?). Will be (trying) to listen closely to the hearings for Defense and CIA to see if there's anyone left who even wants to talk about this stuff.'"We've only been at war over there for 11 years now."'maybe someone over here will have something to actually say about it all for a change.

booboo's picture

Ron Paul did but the MSM are kicking his teeth in over it.

NotApplicable's picture

What else are they good for?

Martin Silenus's picture

Then the strange ones came

And the people knew

That the chains were on...

Zer0head's picture
Alexandria, VA (near DC) police arrest 10-year-old for bringing toy gun to school

 

 

School staff notified police about the incident Tuesday morning, and police spoke to school administrators before the boy arrived. When the boy got to the school, authorities found a toy replica weapon with an orange tip in his backpack, police said.The boy was taken into custody and was transported to a juvenile detention center (where he will surely be safe). No one was injured during the incident.

 

http://washingtonexaminer.com/police-arrest-10-year-old-for-bringing-toy...

Rogue Trooper's picture

Hmm.. if it was a 'toy' skeet gun perhaps he would have got just detention.....

booboo's picture

Now the important question. Did the cops make it home safe?

NotApplicable's picture

Well, they'll need some counselling. But don't worry, they'll be okay.

yogibear's picture

Who cares if Egypt goes revoultionary. The market doesn't seem to care.

NotApplicable's picture

Well, as long as they leave our canal alone...

yogibear's picture

Who cares if Egypt goes revoultionary. The market doesn't seem to care.

deerhunter's picture

Egypt just upped toll on oil tankers sailing the Suez Canal by 5 percent.  Civil war,  look for 50%,,   market may care then I think.

yogibear's picture

The stock market is so giddy with Bubble Bernanke and the Fed's QE juice gasoline could spike to $6.00/gallon and the traders would still be partying!

loveyajimbo's picture

Hillary... a woman for the ages... too bad she split... maybe she could get all of Asia to go up in flames too!!

sbenard's picture

Meanwhile, we just shipped them some new F-16 jets!

Gromit's picture

Which is why, caught between the need to provide escalating social benefits for servicefolk and retirees,

and the vital need to develop weapon systems superior to the ones we sell, it's not likely that Defence spending can increase more slowly.

ElvisDog's picture

But those F-16's aren't the same as the ones in the U.S. air force. Those are the export models with sub-standard electronics and such.

Totentänzerlied's picture

The bourgeois phase of the revolution has ended. It is time for the Bolsheviks Salafists to execute the next stage of the revolution.

- V.I. Lenin

"Mass killings, killings, killings"

- Dave Mustaine

Forward, Soviet!

Mesquite's picture

It never ends....

lindaamick's picture

While it is true that there are some less than desirable forces at work in Egypt, OVERALL, the people who are protesting are doing so BECAUSE Morsi has turned out to be as bad as Mubarek in their eyes.  Morsi will NOT try the people guilty of killing protestors, has tried to take the powers of a king and has declared marshall law.

The people of Egypt are fighting for more democratic representation.  They demand seats at the negotiating table for the various interest groups.  

The people of Egypt have expressed their view that they have nothing to lose now.  They are not afraid..of the military of the government.  They are not afraid to die.  They have felt freedom.

My heart is with the Eqyption people.  What a wonderful legacy they have as an old foundational society.  

I hope they persist and never compromise until they create the kind of society they desire.