CAIRO: Egypt s top two share indexes skidded over 4.5 percent lower on Monday as declines in big cap stocks such as Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) triggered a selling frenzy, traders said.
Shares in OCI slid 9.7 percent to a fresh year low of LE 153 ($27.69), while overall the benchmark CASE 30 index lost 4.63 percent to 4,561.06 points on foreign selling.
The rival Hermes index shed 4.54 percent and the broader CIBC index lost 3.91 percent. Foreign investors were net sellers by a margin of LE 156 million.
It s more panic happening today … When a stock like OCI drops, it takes the index down, said Hashem Ghoneim of El Nour Securities.
Shares in Ezz Steel, Egypt s biggest steel producer, plunged 11.14 percent to LE 10.85 despite announcing a dividend of LE 2 per share to be distributed within a month.
EFG-Hermes, the country s biggest investment bank by market value, plummeted 17.01 percent to LE 16 the same day the firm said it would buy up to 5 million treasury shares.
The performance in the market does not reflect any fundamentals, said Wafik Dawood of Naeem Brokerage.
Other big cap decliners included Telecom Egypt, which lost 11.45 percent to LE 13.30, and Commercial International Bank, which shed 2.58 percent to LE 29.49.
Heavyweight Orascom Telecom, the biggest Arab mobile phone operator by subscribers, dipped 4.7 percent to LE 27.40. El Sewedy Cables, one of the region s biggest cable manufacturers, lost 7.81 percent to LE 66.
Traders say the Egyptian market remains guided by market movements in Europe, the United States, and the Arab Gulf region.