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Wed 3 Aug 2011 06:26 PM

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Egypt's stocks slump on back of Mubarak trial

Benchmark hits lowest mark in almost three months as trial of ex-president is adjourned to Aug 15

Egypt's stocks slump on back of Mubarak trial
Hosni Mubarak on trial in a Cairo court. (Getty Images)
Egypt's stocks slump on back of Mubarak trial
Egypts stock exchange.

Egypt’s stocks fell to the lowest in almost three months as trading volume dropped after investors tuned into the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The benchmark EGX 30 Index fell 0.9 percent to 4,923.29, the lowest level since May 8, at the close in Cairo. Trading volume fell to 63.8 million, the lowest in a week, while the value of shares traded was about 234 million Egyptian pounds ($39 million), the lowest since December 2008.

Orascom Telecom Holding SAE, North Africa’s biggest publicly traded mobile networks operator, fell to the lowest level since March.

The judge trying Egypt's Hosni Mubarak said on Wednesday that the court would reconvene to hear the case of the former president on August 15.

Judge Ahmed Refaat also ordered that Mubarak and others involved would be required to attend the next session.

Separately, judge said the court would reconvene for the case of former Intterior Minister Habib al-Adli on August 4.

“The trial grabbed everyone’s attention,” said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage.

"Future sessions should see relatively higher activity, but Ramadan, summer and the lack of a catalyst should keep interest in the market low in the coming period.’’

Mubarak was wheeled into a Cairo court on a hospital bed today and charged with conspiracy to kill some of the protesters who drove him from office in February. He denied all charges. The trial session covered the entire three-hour trading session on the Egyptian Exchange.

Orascom Telecom lost 3.5 percent to 3.63 Egyptian pounds. Egyptian Resorts Co., a Red Sea resorts developer, declined 1.8 percent, the most in more than a week, to 1.12 pounds. Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority may reprice 20 million square meters (215 million square feet) of land purchased by the company to $175 million from $30 million, Al Mal newspaper reported. Egyptian Resorts said it didn’t receive notification of the agency’s plans.

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