Middle East CDS up sharply

Police surround protesters in front of the press syndicate in Cairo (REUTERS)

The cost of insuring Middle East and North African (Mena) debt against default rose sharply on Friday as investors worried about political stability in the region.

Egyptians have staged demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, following similar protests in Tunisia which caused its president to flee earlier this month.

Egypt's five-year credit default swaps rose 17 basis points to 405 bps, their highest since April 2009, according to Markit, and Morocco's 5-year CDS rose 23 bps to an 18-month high at 203 bps.

Turkish assets were under pressure from a sharp widening in Turkey's current account deficit.

Tunisia central bank 5-year CDS traded at an 18-month high of 205 bps, unchanged from Thursday's close.

In Saudia Arabia, which does not have an active CDS market, dollar/Saudi one-year forwards jumped to their highest in two years, reflecting expectations for a fall in Saudi's currency in 12 months' time.

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