Egyptian stocks fell yesterday for the first time in four days as concern that the government would fail to revive economic growth overshadowed initial results showing a draft constitution won approval.
Palm Hills Developments, a developer of luxury homes, tumbled the most since December 6. Orascom Telecom, a mobile phone operator, dropped 2.1 per cent.
The EGX 30 Index declined 1.5 per cent to 5,362.16 points at the close in Cairo, the biggest retreat since December 10. The benchmark gauge has still advanced 48 per cent this year.
One factor encouraging profit-taking was talk, fuelled by a state television report that the central bank governor Farouk El Okdah might resign.
Mr El Okdah denied the report but there has been persistent media speculation that he might go. “The news of the governor weighed more on the market – it increased uncertainty about the situation of the Egyptian pound and the fiscal policy of the country,” said Osama Mourad, the chief executive of Arab Finance Brokerage.
Trading volume in Egyptian stocks was 50 per cent higher yesterday than the 10-day average.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Financial Market General Index gained 0.4 percent to 1,606.92 points at the close, the highest since December 10. Air Arabia rose 2.7 per cent to 80 fils, the highest since March last year.
In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index also gained 0.4 per cent to 2,631.38 points.