Coronavirus drags EGX to the fifth worst financial market in MENA: report

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 1 Mar 2020

All MENA region markets have seen a downturn, except for Oman and Bahrain

File Photo: Passengers, wearing masks, gather their luggage as they prepare to exit the Aswan International Airport in the Egyptian city, some 920 kms south of the capital Cairo, on February 2, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Egypt has ranked the fifth worst market in the MENA region in February, in terms of the EGX's performance over the past month, according to a report released by SHUAA Securities Sunday.

Coronavirus has an impact on the market, the report said, with Egyptian equities closing out February on a weaker note than January after almost all EGX sectors dropped.

Egypt is not alone in the red zone; all MENA region markets joined Egypt in the downturn, except for the two less liquid markets, Oman and Bahrain, according the report.

"The regional downturn is partly attributable to global fears about the spread of coronavirus which weakened equities and oil prices globally, and at the same time pushed gold prices higher as investors were more inclined to invest in safe-haven assets," according the report.

For the domestic market, real estate stocks were under pressure due to the lack of clarity about the future of Heliopolis Housing & Development (HELI) after an unsuccessful attempt by the firm to sell management rights late February, the report noted.

It added that the EGX 30 still trades at a deep discount to MSCI EM and MSCI FM. Foreigners and Arabs were net sellers in February for the second consecutive month this year, while Egyptians remained net buyers.

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