x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Egypt stock market suffers a blow

Egypt's stock market declined yesterday after disappointing news in the food and automotive industries shook investor confidence.

Food and automotive companies traded down in Egypt yesterday. AFP
Food and automotive companies traded down in Egypt yesterday. AFP

Egypt's stock market declined yesterday after disappointing news in the food and automotive industries shook investor confidence.

Juhayna Food Industries declined 1.9 per cent to 4.62 Egyptian pounds a share after the country's biggest dairy producer said annual profits dropped 18 per cent to 185.9 million pounds.

The company proposed a cash dividend of 0.15 pounds for every share to shareholders.

"This comes as a surprise, as we have not expected the company to distribute dividends before 2014 due to liquidity constraints, given an aggressive spending programme and a growing debt balance," said Mai Nehad, an analyst at HC Securities in Cairo.

"We would prefer to see the company retain its cash to meet its upcoming capital and debt commitments."

Ghabbour Auto lost 2.6 per cent to 24.29 pounds after the country's car assembler and distributor said profits fell 26 per cent to 191m pounds amid higher costs.

The company said it intended to reduce its reliance on the Egyptian market due to currency risk and establish a second company in Iraq, with plans to set up operations in Libya and Algeria.

Egypt's index fell 1.01 per cent to 5,396.85.

In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index and the Dubai Financial Market General Index rose 0.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent to 2,561.74 and 1,610.48, respectively.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's measure slipped 0.1 per cent 6,177.10. Bahrain's index added 0.3 per cent to 1,161.11. Oman's benchmark added 0.5 per cent to 5,859.11. Qatar's index slipped 0.1 per cent to 8,593.67. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was closed for the day.

halsayegh@thenational.ae

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