Egypt stocks take minor losses amid Sinai violence, power outage

Ahram Online, Thursday 9 Aug 2012

Main index slips 0.7 per cent as military offensive in the peninsula sparks caution among local investors

Egyptian Stock Exchange
File photo: Traders work at the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian stocks rounded out the week with minor losses after a military offensive against Sinai-based militants dented investor confidence and a countrywide power-cut delayed the start of trade by an hour.

The benchmark EGX30 slipped 0.68 per cent to finish Thursday at 4,960.98 points, as all but five of the country's largest cap stocks taking losses. The broader EGX70 slipped 0.56 per cent.
"The ongoing violence in the Sinai means people across the country are feeling a general lack of security and this is taking a toll on stocks," said Ashraf Abdel Aziz, head of institutions sales at Arabeya Online.
Police and gunmen clashed Thursday in the North Sinia, according to a report on Egyptian TV, as authorities vowed to crush what they said was a surge in Islamist militancy. 
The latest battle comes in the wake of Sunday's fatal attack on Egyptian border guards by militants, which killed 16.
From Thursday's 156 traded stocks, 36 gained in value and 110 declined. 
Total turnover was a relatively mild LE265.5 million (approx $44.25m), not helped by a countrywide two-hour power outage which delayed the opening of Egypt's stock exchange by over an hour. 
This was the first time electricity shortages have hampered Egyptian stock trades, according to Abdel Aziz.
Commercial International Bank saw the day's heaviest trade, worth some LE59.5 million, but saw its stocks fall 1.4 per cent.  Second places was taken by telecoms giant OTMT which did rather better, clocking up LE47.2 million in trade but holding firm to its starting value.
Property developer the Talaat Moustafa Group traded heavily too, taking an overall loss of 0.48 per cent following the previous day's announcement of an 11 per cent drop in company net income for the first half of 2012.
Landline monopoly Telecom Egypt was one of only a handful of high-caps to see modest gains. It shrugged off a 25 per cent drop in second-quarter net income reported on Wednesday to see its shares edge up 0.16 per cent.
Orascom Construction Industries and EFG-Hermes, major market players, both closed in the red, but managed to claw back some of their early session losses.
Egyptians were the session's net-sellers, offloading LE24.76 million more in stocks than they bought. Investors in the region and other foreigners, by contrast, more modest net-buyers.
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