Egyptian stocks listed overseas are losing their shine as the Egyptian Exchange's continued closure puts into jeopardy investors' "buy" positions.
Global depository receipts (GDRs) for Cairo's companies listed in London, including Orascom Telecom and Orascom Construction Industries, have fallen in the past few days after staging an initial rally.
GDRs are like shares that provide international companies with access to another exchange.
In the US they are called American depository receipts but most large stock markets have them.
Traders have downplayed the significance of them as profit makers.
"Volumes on GDRs are not as eye-catching as before the [uprising]," said Marwan Shurrab, the vice president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments in Dubai.
Mr Shurrab said the benefit from arbitrage, or selling a company's stocks from one exchange to another to take advantage of differences in value between the markets, was "very low" because of the closure of the Egyptian Exchange.
Orascom Telecom is trading at US$3.08 on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the same level as the Egyptian shares before the market there closed at the end of January.
The telecommunications industry is generally regarded as better able to sustain disturbances, as damage to infrastructure is usually limited.
But Orascom Construction Industries, which was trading at US$35.20 on the LSE, has lost 10 per cent compared with the closing price on January 27 in Egypt, as the construction sector appears more likely to be affected by social unrest.
"There is potential for there not only to be infrastructure damage but production damage," said Mr Shurrab.
MSCI has said it may remove Egypt from its emerging markets index if the Egyptian Exchange remains closed for more than 40 business days, another pressure on GDRs.
"That will hurt Egypt by reducing the number of fund managers tracking the market and make it an off-index bet," said Mr Shurrab.