Egypt's stock market
Cairo – Agencies
Egyptian stocks saw their steepest fall in two months on Sunday as preliminary results from the country's presidential elections indicated a polarising, potentially violent run-off vote in mid-June, the Egyptian
daily ahram online reported.
The benchmark EGX30 plunged 3.49 percent to 4,789 points by the close of trade, as all but one heavyweight shares lost value. This performance was mirrored in the broader EGX70, which also lost 3.5 per cent.
Walaa Hazem, asset manager at HC Securities told Ahram Online. That:"The reason for today's drop is definitely political".
He added: "It seems that large portions of the population are not content with the results of the elections".
Hazem said the fact that the two candidates who gained most of the votes in last Wednesday and Thursday's polls - Ahmed Shafiq and Mohamed Mursi - received just 50 percent of the total, showed an equal number unsatisfied with the popular choice.
He added: "Egypt is not just divided between two candidates but between many".
Market volume was a low LE247 million ($41 million), with non-Arab foreigners making up the majority of trading at 57 percent. Egyptian involvement was an exceptionally low 41 percent.
Overseas investors were the day's buyers, scooping up LE16.2 million more in stocks than they sold. Egyptians and other Arabs were net-sellers.
Hazem said: "Non-Arab foreign investors were selling over the past few weeks, today is just an exception".
Mobinil, which gained a solid 2.95 percent, was the only heavyweight to see a climb.
Other firms in the index took serious losses, such as TMG Holding (down 7 percent), Orascom Telecom (down 5.88 percent), NSGC bank (down 2.65 percent) and OTMT (down 2.92 percent).
From the day's 175 traded stocks, 164 lost value and only 7 gained.
In the run-up to the second round of presidential elections, slated for 16-17 June, Hazem said the market performance will likely differ from day to day, with little room for prolonged gains or losses.
Hazem told Ahram Online: "These are exceptional times. It’s not like the old days when company results actually affected the market".
He predicted that so-called "defensive" sectors, like cement, food industries and steel, will show the most resistance to heightened tensions.