Egyptian bourse stumbles on anniversary fears
Egypt's bourse slightly declines Monday as experts had expected the anti-government calls for nationwide protests on the second anniversary of Mubarak's fall to send the stock market to a downturn.
Egypt's main benchmark index, the EGX30, fell by 0.33 per cent to 5, 694 points. Meanwhile, the broader-based EGX70 witnessed a weak 0.16 per cent rise.
Out of 169 traded stocks, 80 shares suffered losses while only 58 registered gains at the end of Monday's trading session. Blue-chip stock Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) unexpectedly rose by 0.63 per cent.
"The stock market's performance is very poor today; it is expected that the market will continue its downward trend for the rest of this week unless the political situation stabilises," Mohamed Metwally, equity trader at Cairo-based Prime Securities, told Ahram Online.
Thirteen Egyptian political parties and movements have announced plans to stage mass anti-government rallies on Monday to mark the second anniversary of former president Hosni Mubarak's ouster, with fears that protests might turn violent.
Trade volume remains eerily low, standing at a mere LE271 million ($40 million) on Monday, reflecting investors' continued wariness of the current political situation in Egypt.
"Stability is a prerequisite for the recovery of the stock market; investors have been exiting the market since the start of the year and this is not a good sign," Metwally explained.
Arab and foreign investors were net sellers for the day, vending almost LE7 million ($1million) and LE27 million ($4 million) respectively. Egyptian investors were net buyers picking up almost LE35 million ($5 milion) worth of shares.
The banking sector suffered tremendously today, as the heavyweight Commercial International Bank (CIB) slid by 0.95 per cent.