Egyptian Stock Exchange loses EGP 52.3 bln in October, indices drop

Ahram Online , MENA , Thursday 1 Nov 2018

A trader works at the Egyptian stock market in Cairo. (Reuters)

The Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) lost about EGP 52.3 billion in October, while the market capital hit EGP 751.5 billion, a decline of 6.5 percent from EGP 803.8 billion last month.

According to the bourse’s monthly report, all indices on the market went down.

The EGX 30 benchmark index went down 9.35 percent, reaching 13,250 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dropped by 2.39 percent to 695 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index decreased by 3.96 percent, recording 1,739 points.

Some economic analysts and observers attributed October’s losses, especially towards the end of the month, to the government postponing its announced plan to sell shares from some state-owned companies.

The government had been planning to sell 4.5 percent of tobacco producer Eastern Company in the last week of October, the first of up to five sales previously due by the end of this year. Shares from another 18 companies are also expected to be sold over the next two or three years.

Egypt hopes the sales will raise badly needed funds for the state and boost the private sector as the country, which is implementing austerity measures backed by the International Monetary Fund, struggles to contain inflation and debt.

Equities across emerging markets, including Egypt's, have declined steeply since the beginning of the year. Eastern Company's shares have fallen by 75 percent from their peak on March 8.

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