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Stock market index falls below 4,000 points

CAIRO: Major Egyptian stocks slumped again on Thursday in a sell-off driven mainly by foreigners with holdings of shares with London listings, brokers said. In the first minutes of trading the benchmark CASE 30 index fell below 4,000 points for the first time since May 2005 and then slipped to close 5.38 percent down at …


CAIRO: Major Egyptian stocks slumped again on Thursday in a sell-off driven mainly by foreigners with holdings of shares with London listings, brokers said.

In the first minutes of trading the benchmark CASE 30 index fell below 4,000 points for the first time since May 2005 and then slipped to close 5.38 percent down at 3,878.11. Declining stocks outweighed advances by 130 to 25.

Brokers said some investors were short-selling Egyptian GDRs and others had to sell them to meet margin calls.

The main victims were Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Orascom Telecom (OT) and investment bank EFG-Hermes.

OCI dropped 13.26 percent to end the day at LE 114 ($20.60), the lowest close since July 2006. OT lost 10.04 percent to LE 21.05, 22 percent of its value in January.

Taymour El-Derini of Beltone said some small cap stocks had shown signs of rising but selling pressure hammered the big caps, dragging down the market as a whole.

People are shorting the GDRs. There is a lot of selling in the GDR market, he added.

Hashem Ghoneim of El Nour Securities said: There is no appetite to buy from anyone… But it s dropping so fast and in such big amounts that the end should come soon.

Orascom Telecom said on Thursday it had sold a relatively small subsidiary to Abu Dhabi Investment Company for $180 million, about 5 percent of OT s market value, but this had no effect on the share price, Ghoneim added.

The rival Hermes index dropped 4.67 to 366.57 points and the broader CIBC lost 1.04 percent to 275.7.

Topics: FJP

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