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Spain's Ebola makes Europe nervous

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 01:41

Shares in European airlines and tourism businesses suffer on fears of Ebola spreading outside Africa. Ciara Lee reports on how the epidemic is spooking some investors.

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It's killed nearly 3 and a half thousand people in West Africa but news that the Ebola virus has spread within Europe caused a mini market panic. European airlines in particular didn't like the fact that a Spanish nurse caught the virus from a patient in Madrid. Tourism businesses also took a hit. Shares in IAG - the owner of British Airways and Iberia - fell around 7 percent, with low cost carrier easyJet also losing ground. IG's Alastair McCaig says five of the top fallers in FTSE on Tuesday were all related to the sector. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG MARKET COMMENTATOR, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "The fact that we've had Ebola cases now inside Spain, there seems to be not quite so stringent controls over the handling of this as there might otherwise have been, has seen markets be a little more spooked than they might otherwise have been." The World Health Organization says Europe will almost certainly see more cases of Ebola. But some health experts say the chances of a full-blown outbreak outside Africa are slim. British Airways has decided it's not going to take the risk. It came under fire for suspending flights to regions most affected in West Africa. In August it halted flights to both Sierra Leone and Liberia. A number of charities working on the front line say that's hampering the relief effort and sends the wrong message to the rest of the world. Many western leaders have also been accused of responding too late with too little. The World Bank says if the virus continues to spread in the three worst-affected countries, its economic impact could be catastrophic. The blow to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone alone could top 30 billion dollars.

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Spain's Ebola makes Europe nervous

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 01:41