CAIRO: Egypt s main index slid 1.6 percent, dragged down by heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT), which fell a second day after Algerian sources said the government wanted the firm to relinquish its Algerian unit.
Big caps lead the weakness, namely the Orascoms, said Omar Darwish of CIBC brokerage.
Orascom Telecom lost 2.2 percent, Orascom Construction Industries 3.2 percent and Orascom Development Holding 1.1 percent.
We might see further profit taking, yet the market is trading at the support level. The direction is difficult to decide. Investors are waiting for a positive vibe from earnings and OT to hop back in, said Darwish.
Commercial International Bank (CIB) dipped 1.5 percent after reporting 2009 net profit rose 25 percent, in line with analyst forecasts. National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB) rose 0.8 percent after its 4.1 percent profit increase beat forecasts.
Osama Mourad, CEO of Arab Finance Brokerage, said the index will attempt to break the 7,000 point level before the end of the month as investors regain confidence and as concerns over OT s Algeria operations recede.
One option is Orascom Telecom will stay and continue to make profit in Algeria. The other option is to sell if forced or as an option, which should ensure its cash flow in its already existing business or in getting other opportunities in the emerging markets, said Mourad.
Among smaller caps, Cairo Oil & Soap was up 6.2 percent on fundamentals.
It s the best managed company in its sector with a clear vision, strong growth plan, said Mourad.
Overall, the main index closed at 6,861 points. -Reuters