Market Report: Egypt stocks dip 0.8 pct on profit-taking, politics

Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Apr 2012

Exchange slips into the red for the first time this week as investor confidence ebbs in the wake of telecoms deal

Egypt exchange
Egypt stocks see mixture of gains and losses on Tuesday (Photo: AP)

Egyptian stocks slipped back into the red on Tuesday as local sentiment cooled after a long-awaited telecoms deal and foreign investors continued their selling exodus amid rising political tensions.

The benchmark EGX30 slipped 0.82 per cent to close out the session at 4,908 points as major stocks charted mixed performances.
"The market has been trading higher for three sessions straight, [now] we're seeing some profit taking coming from locals," said Teymour El-Derini of Naeem Brokerage, saying a combination of economic and political matters meant investors have "no real confidence".
The exchange's main index gained 2.4 per cent on Tuesday on telecoms news. Local investors shrugged off business concerns about Egypt's cancellation of natural gas exports to Israel, but foreign participants seemed to show greater caution and moved to sell-off shares.
Turnover on Tuesday was a respectable LE487.035 million (approx. $80.5m), around half of the previous day's figure but still substantially above its recent average.
More than a quarter of the day's volume was tied up in telecoms firms Mobinil and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology whose performances were still influenced by recent business deals. 
Mobile operator Mobinil, whose takeover by France Telecom was just approved by Egyptian regulators, managed to resist burgeoning selling pressures to see its stocks edge up 0.59 percent.
It was a different story for Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT), a recent top-trader, which saw its shares dip 3.33 pct, setting the tone for remaining telecoms stocks.
The sector, which has surged nearly 60 per cent in the year to date, took a hit on Tuesday when stocks in Orascom Telecom, OTMT's former stablemate, tumbled 4.4 per cent. This followed an announcement from the firm that it will not pay dividents on 2011 profits due to problems with its Algerian operations.
Non-Arab sellers were responsible for many of the high-cap offloads, selling around LE140 million -- nearly three times as much stock as they bought.
But it wasn't all bad news for Egypt's top firms, with several making modest gains that cushioned the main index from serious losses.
Industrial heavyweight Ezz Steel saw its stocks gain 1.64 per cent, while a mini-surge in financial stocks pushed Pioneers up a mighty 6.11 per cent and EFG-Hermes up 5.24 per cent.
Egyptian cable maker El Sewedy gained 3.66 per cent, boosted by a report in a local business newspaper about its involvement in an infrastructure deal in Libya
From the day's 181 listed stocks, just 48 gained value while 118 declined.
The stock exchange will remain closed on Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of Sinai Liberation Day. Trading will resume on Thursday, the week's final session.
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