Egypt stocks tumble on economic uncertainty, OCI dispute

Ahram Online, Wednesday 13 Mar 2013

Egypt stocks continue to fall as country faces economic challenges, unfriendly investment environment

Egyptian stock market in Cairo
A view from the Egyptian stock market in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian stocks continued to fall on Wednesday after yesterday's losses, as thousand of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) workers blocked the Nile Corniche road to protest the investigation into OCI founder Onsi Sawiris and OCI chairman Nassef Sawiris, his son, on charges of tax evasion.

Egypt's main benchmark EGX30 index fell by 1.61 percent to 5,371 points while the broader-based EGX70 dropped by 1.56 percent.

The Egyptian government announced on Tuesday that it would refuse an 'emergency loan' from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has also provoked concern over the government's ability to overcome the country's economic challenges.

Some 120 listed stocks suffered losses, led by heavyweight shares OCI and Commercial International Bank (CIB), shares which tumbled by 2.53 percent and 1.55 percent respectively.

"There is no real incentive to invest in the market, the OCI tax dispute as well as the unknown fate of the IMF loan will definitely lead investors to exit the market gradually," said Issa Fathy, vice president of securities at the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce.

Total trade volume on Egypt's stock exchange stood at a mere LE307 million on Wednesday, as analysts predicted further economic volatility.

Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers on the day picking up almost LE47 million and LE9 million respectively. Foreigners were net sellers offloading almost LE55 million worth of shares.

The National Societe General Bank (NSGB) jumped by 0.18 percent and closed at LE38 per share at the end of today's session, the highest price it has yet reached ahead of the Qatar National Bank's (QNB) acquisition of the bank.

HC Securities, an independent financial advisor, evaluated the NSGB share price at LE35.5 on Wednesday, which is lower than the price of the mandatory tender offer by QNB which was approximately LE38.65 per share.


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