CAIRO: Index heavyweight Orascom Telecom, dragging Egypt’s index down, lost 6 percent after talks on the sale of its assets to South Africa’s MTN Group ended without a deal.
It was Orascom’s biggest single-day drop since May 25.
"Orascom Telecom led the market lower today after talks with MTN failed," said Alia Khalil of Naeem Brokerage.
The talks began in April. The deal, which could have created the world’s third-largest mobile operator, had been complicated by Algeria’s government, which wants to buy Orascom’s unit in that country.
Shares in Mobinil bucked the trend, gaining 1.7 percent as investors’ appetite shifted to the mobile company after a court ruled in favor of Mobinil, canceling a lower interconnection fee with Telecom Egypt.
"The ruling was in favor of Mobinil, and investors interested in telecoms shifted positions towards Mobinil," Khalil added.
Traders said they expected Orascom Telecom to rise next week as shares had fallen to an attractive price.
"It all depends on international markets, but Europe and US futures are up today and oil is also up, so we might see a slight rebound in Egypt’s market in the coming days," Khalil said.
Egypt’s benchmark index, EGX30, fells 1.7 percent to 6,243 points.