Egypt Shares Decline Most in Two Weeks on Bets Gains Overdone

Egypt’s benchmark stock index fell the most in almost two weeks on speculation gains last week were overdone as the country goes through its worst political crisis in 30 years.

Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the nation’s biggest publicly traded lender, fell 2.8 percent and Orascom Construction Industries lost the most in two weeks. The EGX30 Index (EGX30) dropped 1.3 percent, the most since Nov. 22, to 4,019.50 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo. The measure rose 8.1 percent last week, the biggest gain since March, buoyed by a peaceful first stage of parliamentary vote. About 42 million shares traded, compared with a 12-month daily average of 96 million.

“Investors are taking profit after last week’s spike amid political uncertainty,” said Omar Darwish, an equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage Co. “The reap is marked by low volumes.”

Egyptians in Cairo, Alexandria and seven other provinces started to vote today in run-offs for the first stage of an election that may give Islamist groups the dominant role in parliament. The first elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February entail two more rounds covering the country’s remaining 18 governorates.

Commercial International Bank (COMI) tumbled to 23.3 Egyptian pounds. Orascom Construction, the nation’s largest publicly traded builder, declined 2.1 percent to 215.74 pounds.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alaa Shahine in Dubai at asalha@bloomberg.net; Claudia Maedler in Dubai at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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