Top international firms close Egypt units
Cairo, August 15, 2013
Three major international companies have temporarily closed their production units or offices in Egypt after the deadly clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi that resulted in the death of more than 500 people.
The companies include Europe's top oil firm Royal Dutch/Shell, General Motors, and Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux.
General Motors said on Thursday it had ceased production at its Egyptian assembly plant outside of Cairo in 6th of October City and shut its local office.
Royal Dutch/Shell said it has closed its offices in Egypt for the next few days and restricted business travel there.
Shell gave no details on how many staff were affected by the closures nor where the offices were located. A spokesman could not immediately say whether oil installations - mostly in the Western Desert and Nile delta - were affected.
"To ensure the safety and security of our staff, Shell offices in Egypt are closed for business today and into the weekend and business travel into the country has been restricted. We will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt," he said in a statement.
Among other big oil companies operating in Egypt, BP had no immediate update to provide. A spokesman for BG, whose offshore LNG operations account for about a fifth of its production and which pulled out 100 expatriate staff and dependents in July, said there was no change to report.
"All our people are safe and accounted for, and we continue to monitor the situation," a BG spokesman said.
Swedish home appliances maker Electrolux said on Thursday it had halted all production in Egypt, where it employs about 7,000, due to increasing unrest.
"(Electrolux) chose to discontinue production yesterday afternoon through today," said Daniel Frykholm, spokesman at the Swedish group.
"In light of the unrest we have been reducing activities on a day to day basis. We evaluate the security situation and then decide whether people should go to work."
He said the group would next review the decision to halt production on Saturday.
Electrolux's turnover in Egypt amounted to more than 2 billion crowns ($308 million) last year, out of total sales of about 110 billion crowns. -Reuters