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Egyptian Shares Fall, OT and OCI Lead the Way Down - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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CAIRO, (Reuters) – Main Egyptians shares fell on Sunday, led by market mainstay Orascom Telecom despite its global expansion plans after expressing interest in a stake in Brasil Telecom.

Traders said heavy selling of Orascom Telecom’s London-listed global depositary receipts (GDRs) on Friday triggered a knee-jerk reaction in Egypt, where shares in the company skidded 2.1 percent to 402.51 Egyptian pounds.

OT, which said on Sunday it would announce its 2006 earnings results on March 7, has said the interest in Brasil Telecom was in line with its investment strategy.

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), another market heavyweight, also ended the session 2.3 percent down at 278.40 pounds a share.

The firm said on Sunday its Spanish subsidiary Group GLA had bought the aggregates operations of two Spanish firms in deals worth 17.4 million euros ($23 million).

“The market dropped today, largely led by OT and OCI,” said Mohamed Kotb of al-Jazira Asset Management.

Hashem Ghoneim of El Nour Securities said: “Some hedge funds were really selling OT and OCI, so they went down a lot on Friday, and this is a continuation of that.”

Both firms account for more than half the weighting on the well-watched CASE 30 index, which fell 1.4 percent to 7,080.33 points on Sunday. The benchmark Hermes index also fell 1.2 percent to close at 62,406.93 points.

Bucking the downward trend were stocks like Egyptian for Tourism Resorts which rose 5 percent to 19.68 pounds.

Traders said the rise was based on positive market sentiment for local real estate companies after a recent government decision to impose duties on exports of cement and steel.

The broader CIBC-100 index ended the session 0.2 percent higher at 288.57 points.

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Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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