CAIRO: Egypt s main index ended 2.4 percent lower, its sharpest drop in seven weeks, on heavy selling from Arab and local investors, with losses in Orascom Telecom (OT) dragging the index.
Arabs account for more than 15 percent of the market and are heavily selling Egypt, perhaps shifting to the UAE market, not to mention panicked local retail investors, said Omar Darwish of CIBC brokerage.
OT declined 6.7 percent. The Algerian government said on Friday that OT said it wanted to continue operating in the country, and the government reiterated that it would have the preemption right in any sale.
The Egyptian stock market is closed on Fridays, but OT s London-listed global depositary receipts (GDRs) trade.
OT losing around 4 percent during Friday s session in the GDRs had a negative impact on the local stock, said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities.
Traders also cite concerns about the health of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 81, after surgery last week, as a negative weight on the market.
It s restraining clients from buying stocks, and adding more pressure on clients who own stock as they await confirmation that the president will be well and back to his tasks, said Radwan.
El Sewedy shed 5.9 percent, Talaat Moustafa retreated 4.2 percent, and Commercial International Bank dropped 3.4 percent.
The main index closed at 6,607 points, its lowest close in almost three weeks.
Technically, we are at a strong support of 6,600 points mark on the EGX30 index. Further pressure may been seen, perhaps to the 6,550 level before we resume an uptrend, said CIBC s Darwish. -Reuters