No direct threat to ships passing through the strategic Suez Canal waterway exists at the moment, despite unrest in Egypt, a senior official with London’s marine insurance market said on Monday.
“We are not seeing anything that would give us any particular cause for concern at this stage,” said Neil Roberts, a senior technical executive with the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA), which represents the interests of all underwriting businesses in the Lloyd’s market.
“There is no direct to threat to ships that we can see and it would be counter intuitive for the Egyptians to do anything with Suez that would stop their flow of trade,” Roberts told Reuters.
The 192-km (120-mile) canal is the quickest sea route between Asia and Europe. Egypt was estimated to have earned nearly $5 billion last year in receipts from the canal.
Global shares continued to slide on Monday, while Europe’s benchmark Brent crude was just short of $100 a barrel on fears the turmoil in Egypt could spread to regional oil producers.
Roberts said he was not aware of any rise in insurance premiums on ships travelling via Suez. “It’s speculation,” he said. “I doubt there is any substance to that as a suggestion.”
A senior canal official said the waterway was working as normal on Monday.
(Editing by William Hardy)
By Jonathan Saul
LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) –
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