Fitch says MENA economic costs of unrest start to appear, Egypt most affected.

By bne IntelliNews May 6, 2011
The economic costs of the political unrest in some of the countries from the Middle East and North Africa have started to appear in the first-quarter data, international rating agency Fitch Ratings said in a report. Of all three MENA countries that Fitch downgraded earlier this year, Egypt was the hardest hit as its gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 7% in the first quarter. Fitch downgraded Egypt by one notch to BB/Rating Watch Negative (RWN), Tunisia by one notch to BBB-/Negative and Bahrain by three notches to BBB/ RWN. The agency said that the three companies will benefit from external financial assistance. Fitch expects Egypts GDP growth for the current fiscal year to be 2%-3%, supported by recovering tourism sector. Tunisias tourism sector will also be the key driver of its slower growth in 2011 of 0%-1%. Bahrain will be the best performer of the three, reporting a GDP growth of some 1.7%.

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