x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Egypt's shares decline as steel producer falters

Market Wrap: Egypt's shares declined yesterday after Ezz Steel reports smaller profits.

The Egyptian Exchange 30 Index lost 0.5 per cent to close at 5,144.27 points. Reuters
The Egyptian Exchange 30 Index lost 0.5 per cent to close at 5,144.27 points. Reuters

Egypt's stock exchange declined for a second consecutive day after the country's biggest publicly traded steel producer said its full-year profit fell 53 per cent.

The Egyptian Exchange 30 Index lost 0.5 per cent to close at 5,144.27 points.

Ezz Steel's standalone profit for last year fell to 116.1 million Egyptian pounds, from 249.5m pounds in 2009. Shares of the company declined 1.8 per cent to 9.79 Egyptian pounds, the lowest close in two months.

The exchange said on July 6 it gave Ezz Steel 15 days to report full-year and first-quarter results or face a trading suspension.

The results pre-date turmoil that engulfed the company when a civil uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak from the presidency in February and led to a series of corruption investigations targeting those close to Mr Mubarak, including the company's founder, Ahmed Ezz.

"The results may have been pretty bad and unexpected, but … the new management should help the company to increase its sales," said Mohamed Ashnawy, the executive director for sales trading at Al-Futtaim HC Securities in Dubai.

In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index was down 0.3 per cent to 2,697.65 on low volumes. Dubai's benchmark, the Dubai Financial Market General Index, was down 0.7 per cent to 1,522.10.

Kuwait's index added 0.5 per cent to 6004.20; Bahrain's measure was unchanged at 1,317.3; and Oman's index lost 0.3 per cent to 5,961.33.

halsayegh@thenational.ae