Main Egyptian index slides on profit-taking and curfew speculation in subdued session

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Nov 2013

EGX30 falls 0.4% in session marked by low trading volumes on blue chips and major shares


Egypt's main EGX30 index continued to drop on Thursday due to a combination of profit-taking by investors after weeks of record gains and speculation about the effects of a curfew lift ahead of the weekend.

The benchmark EGX30 witnessed a decline of 0.4 percent to sit at 6,228 points, as turnover of listed stocks slid to a relatively modest LE415 million.

"This is in part a continuation of profit-taking, though it has been a calm session," Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at the Cairo-based Arabia Online Securities, told Ahram Online.

"Although the session started with a rise, as opposed to the rest of the days this week, it was marked by low volume," said Osama Mourad, an independent analyst and former chief executive of Arab Finance Brokerage.

"There is also investor speculation as to what will happen this weekend now that the curfew has been lifted," added Mourad, referring to a curfew in place since August to fend off political protests after the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi earlier in July.

The curfew, which started at 7pm on Fridays, was lifted by Egypt's interim government as of Wednesday.

All the blue chips in the index were decliners, registering low turnover volumes. Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB), on which there was a volume of LE372.9 million, fell 0.34 percent.

Investment Bank EFG-Hermes, which on Thursday reported a 38 percent year-on-year rise in net profit after tax and before minority to LE116 million, for the third quarter of 2013, and a 12 percent growth in revenues from the same quarter last year to LE528 million, saw its share price fall 0.86 percent.

Telecom Egypt (TE) slid 0.07 percent and Global Telecom Holding (GT) 0.21 percent.

In the real estate sector the Palm Hills Development (PHD) company dropped by 0.4 percent. The company had reported a net profit of LE209.7 million for the first nine months of 2013 on Thursday, compared to a net loss of LE85.3 million for the same period in 2012.

The Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) also saw its share price slide by 0.18 percent. The real estate company had announced on Thursday a 3.6 percent fall in its consolidated net profits for the first nine months of this year compared with 2012, registering a net profit of some LE417.8 million.

Also in real estate, Six of October Development and Investment (SODIC) dropped 0.35 percent.

Egyptian and non-Arab foreign investors were the net-sellers for the session, while Arab investors net-bought LE15.6 million worth of shares.

The broader EGX 70 index gained 0.17 percent in Thursday's session. 

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