Egyptian stocks slid the most since August on concern the trial of former President Mohamed Mursi will trigger the return of political instability and after the benchmark jumped to the highest level in more than two years.
The EGX 30 Index lost 1.6 percent, the most since Aug. 28, to 6,097.24 at 1:04 p.m. in Cairo, trimming the measure’s gain since Mursi’s ouster in July to 23 percent. Last week, the measure advanced to the highest since January 2011. Global Telecom Holding, formerly known as Orascom Telecom Holding, led a list of 27 decliners. Luxury property company Palm Hills Developments SAE tumbled 4.8 percent.
Mursi’s Islamist backers have called for demonstrations on Nov. 4, the day the former leader is set to go on trial, on charges that include inciting violence that led to the killing of opposition protesters during his time in office. Egypt’s economy is stuck in the worst slowdown in two decades since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
“Investors are becoming increasingly concerned before the start of Mohamed Mursi’s trial and the instability that may surround it,” Tamer Nigm, head of sales trading at Cairo-based Watheeqa Securities, said by phone. “We’re seeing a healthy correction after the gains over the last couple of weeks.”
About 266 million Egyptian pounds ($39 million) of shares traded, compared with a one-year daily average of 342 million pounds. Global Telecom fell 1.7 percent to 4.75 pounds, while Palm Hills was poised for the biggest loss since June, dropping to 2.59 pounds.
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