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Yahoo leaves Egypt

February 5, 2014 at 2:12 am

Yahoo has announced that it has closed its office in Cairo, citing a plan to merge its offices in the Middle East as the reason. The company did not mention any security concerns for the closure but said that it prefers to have two strong offices in the region rather than three weak ones; it will concentrate its efforts in Dubai and Oman.

“Cairo was a good market for Yahoo,” said a company statement. “We have established a diligent and professional team, to whom we’ll propose appropriate financial compensation in return for terminating their employment and the closure of our office.”

Although it claims that security is not an issue, Yahoo is not the first major company to leave Egypt following violent clashes which erupted in the country post-coup, in what economists describe as a foreign and local haemorrhage of business investment. The declaration of a state of emergency on August 18 led to at least 8 major international companies leaving Egypt, with a resultant rise in unemployment and negative effect on the already deteriorating Egyptian economy.

Unlike Yahoo, some of the companies cited the unstable security situation following the violent government dispersal of pro-democracy protesters in Rabaa Al-Adawiyya and Al-Nahda Squares. Travel companies Thomas Cook and TUI AG said at the time that tourists are “afraid” to travel to Egypt “and there is nothing one can do to dispel their fear.” General Motors, Toyota and Suzuki closed their car assembly plants in order to “save the lives” of their employees; Egypt is Africa’s third largest car producer after South Africa and Morocco.

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell shut down its operations in August and also cited employee safety, as did Germany’s BASF Chemicals, which expressed concerns about the “violence that plagues” Egypt.