CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and the Vice President has named a military council to run the country’s affairs, state television said on Friday after 18 days of mass protests against his rule.
Below is reaction from analysts, economists and officials.
“Suleiman’s statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers.”
“There isn’t any greater visibility. We know what we don’t have, which is Mubarak, but we don’t know what we do have.
“From an investor standpoint you need to wait to see what statements come out of the new regime, who is calling the shots, who is running the economy.”
JON ALTERMAN, DIRECTOR OF MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
“This is just the end of the beginning. Egypt isn’t moving toward democracy, it’s moved into martial law and where it goes is now subject to debate.”
ROSEMARY HOLLIS, PROFESSOR OF MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS, CITY UNIVERSITY, LONDON
“People power has toppled another authoritarian regime and that will have ramifications across the region. It’s a turning point for US power across the region. They have been exercising their influence through these autocratic regimes and now the tide is turning against them.”
ROBERT SATLOFF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY IN WASHINGTON;
“It is important for the military leadership to clarify very soon whether Egypt is under martial law or whether it has begun a true path toward democracy.
“The two signs that the (Obama) administration is likely to look for early on will be lifting the emergency laws and the creation of a broad-based national government that includes credible civilian figures to lead the country as it does its constitutional and other legal changes in preparations for elections.”
FRANK LESH, BROKER AND FUTURES ANALYST FUTURE PATH TRADING
“We know he’s gone, but does this change volatility on the Egypt social unrest? Not really.
“Clearly for the moment, it’s still a government in disarray.”
ANTHONY SKINNER, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, POLITICAL RISK CONSULTANCY MAPLECROFT
“It’s broken a psychological barrier not just for North Africa but across the Middle East. I think you could see some contagion in terms of protests; Morocco, perhaps Jordan, Yemen.
You can’t rule out the prospect you might reinvigorate the Green opposition movement in Iran.”
“Egyptians have to be careful so that their revolution does not get hijacked.”
“I think it will have a little bit of a supportive effect on gold. The attitude will be that a lot of potentate’s in the Arab world will be buying gold and moving it offshore in case they get overthrown next. The fact of the matter is that most of those guys have taken those steps long ago. “
“Clearly quite apart from the impact on stock markets, (economic disruption) has been troublesome at the time that Egypt is running a current account deficit
Markets will want to look at realistically priced Egyptian debt as the dust settles.”
SVEN RICHTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF FRONTIER MARKETS, RENAISSANCE ASSET MANAGERMENT:
“The cost of capital has increased but should come down after some time. But this will hit company earnings.”
“Whichever government comes in, they will have to spend more money than otherwise planned. The new government will keep subsidies on oil and food. The government deficit will widen a bit.”
“On the positive side, we don’t think there’s been substantial infrastructural damage so it will be a matter of weeks not months for the economy to get back on track.”
JULIEN BARNES-DACEY, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST, CONTROL RISKS
“There must be serious questions over how acceptable Suleiman will be given his support for Mubarak.”
VASSILI SEREBRIAKOV, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO, NEW YORK:
“It should be positive for risk appetite. But the dollar reaction so far has been mixed. It had some impact on currency markets over the past days, but I don’t think the Middle East unrest was the key theme. It remains to be seen what kind of impact they’ll have on equity markets. That’s probably where the foreign-exchange reaction is going to go. The currency market is taking cues from equities at this point.”
KAMEL EL-HELBAWY, UK-BASED MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD CLERIC
“Today, a dictator becomes part of the past. We will not tolerate a stubborn man like him coming to power again. Congratulations to Egypt, to the Arab world, to the Muslim world and to humanity in general.”
PROGRESS IN WASHINGTON AND INFORMAL ADVISER TO WHITE HOUSE
“This is very good news for Obama given that he and his administration so publicly staked out a position that change should happen now. But it is only the start of a process.
“Today in name, if not in fact on the streets, the people who have ruled Egypt since 1952 are still the same people, the same cadre of the military elite.”
CHRIS RUPKEY, CHIEF FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, BANK OF TOKYO/MITSUBISHI UFJ, NEW YORK:
“Treasuries backed off a couple of basis points from this morning’s rally. There certainly is less reason to buy the safety of U.S. government securities if Mubarak is giving the people what they want.
GARY THAYER, CHIEF MACROSTRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI:
“It looks like the stock market is taking the news well. One thing that has weighed on investor sentiment is that the price of oil would go up in the case of political turmoil and Mubarak’s leaving reduces that possibility.”
JAY SUSKIND, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AT DUNCAN-WILLIAMS IN JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY
“Next week, from a geopolitical standpoint, if it stays calm over there and there’s a transfer of power, it should fade into the background. But if there’s a sense that Egypt won’t go in a semi-democratic state, and that the new power is unfriendly to the West, we could see some nerves on that. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, along with some cautious optimism.”
Reporting by Reuters correspondents; Compiled by World Desk; London newsroom