Traders work at the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: AP)
The Egyptian bourse failed to maintain its two-day rally on Monday despite positive financial results being reported by several blue-chip companies.
The benchmark EGX30 index declined by 0.4 per cent for the day to land at 5,062 points. The broader EGX70 index also suffered in Monday's trading, falling by 0.8 per cent.
According to market expert Mostafa Badra, Monday's session saw massive selling by foreigner investors, who appear to be awaiting results of Egypt's presidential elections – slated for 23/24 May – before making any additional investments.
"Foreign investors also fear a possible renewal of violent clashes as elections draw closer," Badra told Ahram Online.
Foreign investors represented net sellers on Monday, unloading some LE67 million in stocks. Egyptian investors, meanwhile, were net buyers, picking up some LE71 million in shares.
Mobinil and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding were the EGX30's only gainers for the day, trading up slightly by 0.02 and 0.7 per cent.
Most other blue chips registered losses, led by Commercial International Bank and Orascom Construction Industries, which slumped 0.1 and 0.3 per cent.
Despite recent positive financial results, Talaat Mostafa Group (TMG) and Telecom Egypt both traded downward, falling by 1.3 and 0.6 per cent.
Landline monopoly Telecom Egypt, meanwhile, reported a 1.7 per cent increase in net profits for the first quarter of 2012, with company officials attributing the positive results to the improved business climate following last year's political turbulence.
The company reported consolidated net income of LE912 million for the first three months of the year, compared to LE897 million for the same period in 2011.
TMG, Egypt's largest listed property developer, reported a 2.5 per cent rise in first-quarter net profits (LE173.7 million) as sales rebounded with improved political stability.
Orascom Telecom stocks, meanwhile, plunged 0.3 per cent, despite analysts' predictions of an upswing in profits aided by a mild rise in earnings and stable currencies.
Out of 174 listed stocks, only 31 closed in the green on Monday while 126 recorded losses in a session that saw the highest daily turnover – at LE387.3 million – in almost two weeks.