CAIRO: Egypt s benchmark stock index sank over 4 percent on Monday as a bout of profit-taking in market heavyweights such as Orascom Telecom cut short a four-day rally ahead of a long Muslim holiday.
Shares in the regional mobile operator shed 7.35 percent to last trade at LE 23.70 ($4.30). Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt s largest listed builder, lost 6.34 percent to LE 121.90.
Overall, the benchmark CASE 30 index dropped 4.36 percent to 4,022.58 points while the rival Hermes index dipped 3.61 percent to 382.38 points.
The broader CIBC 100 index fell 4.02 percent to 269.5 points.
We were expecting such a move after an impressive four-day rally, said Tamer Galal of Borak Securities, adding that many investors were exiting positions ahead of the Eid El-Adha holiday. The bourse will be closed all of next week for the Eid.
Investors wouldn t risk holding stocks (over the holiday), Galal said. This is the wise thing to do. It is a very long week and we don t know how the American market is going to act.
Also among the decliners on Monday was investment bank EFG-Hermes, which plunged 11.91 percent to LE 15.60 but still remained above a year-low of LE 12.50 hit on Nov. 24.
There is big selling pressure because people don t trust the financial sector at the moment, said Mohamed Elwy of Prime Securities.
Ezz Steel tumbled 4.85 percent to LE 11.18, while tourism company and large landowner Egyptian Resorts lost 5.1 percent to LE 1.86. The firm said on Monday its net profit in the nine months to end-September rose 37 percent.