Experts connect Egypt PM gaffe with stocks fall

Ahram Online, Wednesday 27 Nov 2013

A series of stark statements by Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi coincided with poor trading this week, with some experts seeing the premier as partially responsible

Hazem el-Beblawi
Egypt's Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt stocks sank into the red Wednesday for the fourth trading session in row, with analysts putting blame partially on several “ill-fated” statements of the country’s interim premier, Hazem El-Beblawi.

The market’s benchmark EGX30 fell 0.6 percent, recording 6,205 points, whilst the broader EGX70 index shed 0.5 percent.

“The strange statements that came from El-Beblawi on several occasions coincided with daily incidents, affecting trading over the week,” Eissa Fathi, vice head of the securities division at Cairo Chamber of Commerce, told Ahram Online.

“So, the prime minister is somewhat responsible for the stocks’ bearish trend in the last sessions.”

Fathi went on to point out the most influential statements made by El-Beblawi, starting with his interview with AFP Sunday when he revealed the governmental plan to phase out energy subsidies before leaving office in 2014.

On Monday, El-Beblawi tried to bolster an optimistic sentiment among investors, saying: “Who is the donkey that will buy high-price shares unless they are sure that there will be a better future for the Egyptian bourse?” Many misunderstood him.

According to Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Arabeya Online Securities, El-Beblawi was meaning that investments in Egypt are recovering, citing investors’ purchases in the bourse, but that he misused the word “donkey.”

Domestic investors were net sellers with some LE31 million. Foreign and Arab investors were net buyers with LE1.8 million and LE29.3 million respectively.

“It is noteworthy that the Egyptian stock market has been witnessing poor performance in the last week of the last two months. Maybe it will turn up by December’s opening week,” Abdel-Aziz added.

Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB) rose slightly, up 0.5 percent ahead of the dividend to be distributed in December.

Global Telecom (GT) declined two percent.

Property shares Talaat Mustafa Group (TMG), Palm Hills Development Holding (PHD) and Six of October Development and Investments Company (SODIC) were all down at 0.2 percent, two percent, and 2.3 percent respectively.

Wednesday’s session saw a total daily turnover of listed securities worth some LE431.8 million.

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