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FDI in Egypt plummets over the summer

Foreign investment in Egypt plummeted over its summer to almost a quarter of its level a year earlier as investors, unnerved by the region's political turmoil, fled, the central bank said on Tuesday. Foreign direct investment (FDI) fell to $440.1 million in July-September from $1.60 billion a year earlier, helping to create a $2.36 billion deficit in the balance of payments versus a surplus of $14.7 million a year earlier.

"This deficit was due to the repercussions of the events that Egypt and the Arab region are going through and which negatively affected tourism revenue and foreign investment flows into Egypt," the central bank said in an emailed statement. However, private remittances overall, mainly from Egyptians working abroad, rose 31 percent to $4.01 billion.

That helped to dampen an increase in the current account deficit, which widened 67 percent from a year earlier to $2.18 billion, the central bank said. The central bank said investments to set up new companies or increase the capital of old ones fell 47 percent year-on-year to $521.9 million during July-September. Revenue from tourism dropped 26 percent to $2.7 billion. Portfolio investment contracted by $1.7 billion.

Copyright Reuters, 2011