Egypt stocks plunge for second day on Sawiris travel ban

Ahram Online , Tuesday 5 Mar 2013

Stock market loses 2.49% on Tuesday after travel ban imposed on founder and CEO of Orascom Construction Industries

Stock market
OCI fell 2.09 percent, driving the whole market downward. (Photo:AP)

Egyptian stocks plunged for the second day in a row on Tuesday after the prosecutor-general placed a travel ban on Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) founder Onsi Sawiris and its CEO Nassef Sawiris. 

The main EGX30 index fell 2.5 percent to 5,241 points.

OCI, the biggest company on the Egyptian market (almost a third of market capitalisation), fell 2.09 percent, driving the whole market downwards. OCI closed at LE246.81.  

Orascom Telecom Holding and Telecom Egypt fell 3.73 and 1.45 percent while Commercial International Bank Egypt plunged 4.6 percent. 

The travel ban imposed on two of Egypt's richest men worried investors, especially as some link the decision to a political controversy between the Sawiris family and the government, while others claim it has a sectarian undertones.  

The ban was imposed following charges of tax evasion related to the sale of an OCI subsidiary to French cement giant Lafarge five years ago.

Out of 166 listed stocks, only 19 gained, while 129 fell. 

Total trading volume was LE294.8 million, down from more than LE470 million on Monday.

Foreign and Arab investors were net sellers on Monday, offloading LE33.8 and 3.7 million in shares respectively. Egyptians were net buyers on the day, picking up LE37.6 million worth of shares.

Food and beverage was the only one of 17 sectors to gain on Tuesday. 

The broader EGX70 index lost 1.26 percent. 

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