Egypt’s stock market recovers after half-hour suspension

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CAIRO: Egypt’s stock market was on an upward trend when trading resumed after a half-hour suspension for falling 10 percent in the first minutes of trade since Jan. 27.

Major shares fell 10 percent in mere minutes as the market reopened after an almost two-month closure, triggering a circuit breaker that halted trading for half an hour as per new measures in place meant to mitigate effects of the anticipated fall.

The broader EGX 100 index fell 7.02 percent, with Telecom Egypt, Commercial International Bank and Orascom Construction Industries all falling 10 percent, reported Reuters.

The market opened at 5,645.52 points and plunged to a low of 5,085.63 points.

By mid-day, it began recovering to reach around 8.7 percent.

Shares in Orascom Telecom traded up as much as 7 percent on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Only a handful of stocks were trading above a limit-down level of 10 percent.

Sinai Cement soared as much as 8 percent, the only firm to gain, after CI Capital said shares offered "unquestionably" the highest dividend yield in its coverage universe, if not in the whole market, and recommended investors to buy the stock.

Trading on Ezz Steel was suspended until its ownership and financial position are clarified, the exchange said in an emailed statement.

Chairman Ahmed Ezz is being investigated for graft and has been detained since Feb. 17 pending trial on suspicion of squandering public funds.

The stock exchange requested disclosure of assets linked to ongoing investigations, it said in a statement. –Additional reporting by Reuters



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