Egypt's stock market took a slide on Thursday as investors set their sights on profits and targeted shares that have seen several weeks of near-unchecked growth.
The benchmark EGX30 slipped 1.38 per cent to finish the session at 5,887 points. Despite its fall, the benchmark is still 60 per cent higher than the level at which it started the year.
"Profit-taking was the main theme of the session," Ashraf Abdel Aziz, head of institutions sales at Arabeya Online Securities told Ahram Online.
"We can easily see that the shares which saw the sharpest drops today were those that ones that have chargest the largest growths before."
Included among them were market heavyweights, Palm Hills Development, Commercial International Bank and Citadel Capital.
Palm Hills was the day's most active, dropping a substantial 5 per cent to close at LE3.02 per share. It had soared some 45 per cent in value since the start of
September as investors showed a more confident outlook on its substantial land bank, following more than a year of legal uncertainties.
Private equity firm Citadel Capital had previously done well, its shares climbing from LE3.2 apiece in late August to LE4.7 on Wednesday.
But Citadel stock failed to reap the benefits of Thursday's news about its dairy venture Dina Farms expanding its production capacity, with investors seeming to play it safe and benefit from previous profits. Citadel shares dropped around 3 per cent before the close of play.
"These shares had outperformed the EGX30 index, and their investors are now being rewarded," Abdel Aziz says.
Trading volume was around LE763 million ($127 million) with 107 shares losing value and 69 gaining. The broader EGX70 index also slipped 0.88 per cent.
Egypt's largest listed bank, CIB, bore the brunt of foreign sales. It saw LE35 million in trade, and closed down 2.31 per cent.
"CIB is generally very reactive to actions made by non-Arab foreigners," said Abdel Aziz.
Non-Arab foreigners made up 10 per cent of trade, but were the session's main sellers, offloading a net LE29 million in stocks.
Egyptian investors were behind 80 per cent of activity, buying LE19 million more in stocks than they sold.
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt's largest listed company slipped 1.53 per cent to sit at LE288 per share. Sister company, Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) also fell 1.81 per cent to finish at LE3.79.
Real estate developer Talaat Mostafa Group (TMG), meanwhile, lost 2.8 per cent to close at LE5.54 per share.