Turkey's Yildiz halts production in Egypt, others may follow

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 15, 2013 12:09 PM
Turkey's Yildiz halts production in Egypt, others may follow

By Ceyda Caglayan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish biscuit maker Yildiz Holding stopped production in Egypt on Thursday due to the unrest there and a Turkish industry representative warned others were likely to follow suit.

"We decided to halt production in Egypt after the state of emergency announcement on Wednesday to protect our staff," said Murat Ulker, chairman of Yildiz Holding which employs 910 people in Egypt and owns Turkey's biggest biscuit maker Ulker.

Yildiz can produce up to 33,000 tons of biscuits from its factory in Egypt for export to the Middle East, North and West Africa.

Turkish textile manufacturers who produce goods in Egypt for export may have to stop production if orders continue to fall, the head of the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations said.

"Orders from Europe and the United States have fallen in the last month," Hikmet Tanriverdi told Reuters.

"For those who produce for the Egyptian market, falling domestic demand seems to be a challenge," he said.

Some 260 Turkish companies, mainly textile manufacturers, operated in Egypt last year making direct investments of around $2 billion, according to data compiled by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board.

By contrast, discount supermarkets chain BIM which is seeking to double its 25 stores in Egypt, was more optimistic.

"We can run our logistics needs at the moment, and it's too early to say whether demand has been hit," BIM Chief Operating Officer Galip Aykac said.

(Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Daren Butler and Erica Billingham)