Egypt's stocks slide after CBE interest rate hike

Ahram Online, Sunday 20 Jul 2014

EGX30 down 0.72 percent after interest rates were raised last week as a precautionary measure against inflation from fuel price hikes

Egypt Stock Market
The Egyptian stock market reopened on March 23, after closing on January 27 (File Photo :Reuters)

Egypt's stocks fell on Sunday in its first session since the country's central bank decided to raise interest rates to control inflation expected after the government raised prices of state-subsidised fuels earlier this month.

The main index fell 0.72 percent to 8,575 points as Egyptian investors, who accounted for 88 percent of market activity, were net-sellers to the tune of LE19.2 million.

On Thursday, the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) monetary policy committee raised the overnight deposit rate, overnight lending rate and the rate of the bank's main operation by 100 basis points to 9.25 percent, 10.25 percent, and 9.75 percent, respectively.

Earlier this month, the government increased the prices of three widely-used forms of state-subsidised fuel by as much as 78 percent and also hiked up electricity prices.

The move is part of an effort to cut government spending on fuel subsidies by LE44 billion this year in order to reign in the budget deficit and domestic debt.

Non-Arab foreign investors, who accounted for only 8 percent of the market, were the main net-buyers on Sunday for LE18.2 million,

Daily turnover was limited to LE369 million.

Real estate stocks Palm Hills Development Company and Six of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) were the most active in the EGX30, falling 2.13 percent to LE4.14 and 2.91 percent to LE38.01, respectively.

Competitor TMG Holding was down 1.9 percent to LE9.28.

Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB) rose 0.52 percent to LE38.43.

EFG-Hermes dropped 0.83 percent to trade at LE15.52. The share had risen 3 percent in the previous session on rumours of a possible buy-back from the investment bank's board of 9.5 percent of its shares.

Earlier this month, a bid for 20 percent of EFG-Hermes' shares by a consortium led by competitor Beltone Financial and Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris was only partially successful after an independent financial advisor hired by EFG-Hermes ruled the offer price of LE16 a share was too low.

Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT) shed 0.79 percent of its share price to trade at LE1.26. Telecom Egypt (TE) slid 1.33 percent to LE13.39.

Global Telecom Holding fell 1.15 percent to trade at LE5.17.

The broader EGX70 fell 0.66 percent.

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