Egyptian shares fell to the lowest in more than 10 months on investor concern anti-government protests will gain momentum as President Mohamed Morsi marks the first anniversary of his election.
The benchmark EGX 30 Index lost 2.9 percent to 4,775.92, the lowest level since July 30, at the close in Cairo. The gauge tumbled 12 percent in the last seven days, the longest losing streak since November 2011. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender, fell 4.1 percent and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE plunged to the lowest in eight years. Benchmark dollar bonds dropped.
A group of mostly secular activists calling for the resignation of Morsi said it collected 13 million petitions for the cause, Al Arabiya.net said. The group known as Tamarrod, the Arabic word for rebellion, is vowing nationwide demonstrations on June 30, the one-year anniversary of Morsi taking office, setting up a possible confrontation with his Islamist backers.
“There’s more noise around the demonstrations this time and growing opposition to the government,” Hassan Kenawi, equities trader at Cairo-based HC Brokerage, said by phone. “We expect the sell-off to continue until there’s news to act as a positive catalyst for the market.”
The yield on the government’s $1 billion of 5.75 percent Eurobonds due in 2020 increased 12 basis points, or 0.12 of a percentage point, to 8.55 percent at 4:11 p.m. in Cairo, the highest level on a closing basis in more than two months.