Bloomberg News

Egyptian Stocks Retreat to Lowest in a Month on Deadly Clashes

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian stocks dropped to the lowest in a month after security forces and protesters clashed for a fifth day in central Cairo and the government removed subsidies on energy-intensive industries.

Commercial International Bank, the biggest publicly traded bank in Egypt, retreated to the lowest since May 2009 and Orascom Construction Industries lost 1.8 percent. The EGX 30 Index dropped 2.5 percent to 3,706.3, the lowest since Nov. 22, at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo as 28 stocks fell and two were unchanged. The measure has tumbled 48 percent this year, making it the third-worst performer globally after Cyprus and Greece.

Soldiers and police stormed Tahrir Square injuring dozens, according to demonstrators who pointed to bloodstains on their clothes and the tarmac. Hisham Sheeha, a health ministry official, said 28 people were injured today and 12 have died since Dec. 16. The clashes are the latest between protesters demanding an immediate end to military rule and the generals who took interim power after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

“Ongoing violence, the lack of a catalyst and the lifting of subsidies on energy intensive industries” is weighing on stocks, said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage.

Egypt will lift subsidies on energy-intensive industries, Planning and International Co-operation Minister Fayza Aboulnaga said yesterday, without giving a time frame.

Commercial International Bank declined 4.2 percent to 19.85 Egyptian pounds. Orascom Construction Industries, the largest publicly traded builder in the country, fell to 202.61 pounds.

--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Linda Shen

To contact the reporter on this story: Mahmoud Kassem in Cairo at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

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


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