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Stock market decline less than expected, says chairman

Bourse head announces resumption of trading for two suspended companies

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Mar 2011
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Egypt's stock exchange has dipped much less than feared, the Bourse chairman told a press conference assembled on the day the market reopened after a seven-week suspension.

Mohammed Abdel-Salam told reporters that the decision to reopen the stock market came after Egyptians' strong participation in Saturday's referendum. He added that trading will continue and will not be halted and pledges to support all brokerage companies.

Abel-Salam also announced that two out of the 46 companies suspended from trading will be allowed to resume after they fulfil disclosure procedures.

He asked investors to differentiate between businessmen and ministers accused of corruption and their family-owned companies listed on the stock exchange.

Abdel-Salem also introduced a new investment fund named Masr el-Mustaqbal (Egypt - The Future) which will be available to all Egyptians, rich and poor, within 48 hours. Investment certificates will cost LE10.

In a private conversation, the chairman told Ahram Online that foreign investors had practically no impact on today's market. Sigma Securities' website shows foreigners were net sellers, their turnover was LE662 million, representing 7.7 per cent of the total.

Abdel-Salam also said the suspending of trade for heavy-weighted companies of Ezz Group saved the market from a sharper drop. Ahmed Ezz, group CEO, is currently facing charges of corruption and violating anti-competition law.

The press conference came 45 minutes before the market closed for the day.

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