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Egypt Shares Tumble On Renewed Worry Over Economy

Egypt Shares Tumble On Renewed Worry Over Economy

Egyptian shares tumble after a gasoline shortage, a transport strike and tensions between the ruling army and the Muslim Brotherhood raise concerns the country may entering a new round of economic and political instability, traders say.

March 25, 2012 4:15 by



Long queues began snaking outside of petrol stations late last week and continued over the weekend, drivers say. Energy analysts have said the government is finding it increasingly hard to come up with the foreign currency it needs to import gasoline.

At the same time, a transport strike that has kept buses off the streets for more than a week prompted the army to move some of its buses to help get at least some of the people affected to work.

“The gasoline crisis, the transport crisis. They’re all making the market go down,” says Hisham Metwalli of Arab Finance Brokerage.

The benchmark index tumbles 2.7 percent to 5,008, braeking fhrough a 5,011 support level, Metwalli says. The broader index drops 2.6 percent, with every share on both indices declining.

A dispute between Egypt’s military council and the Muslim Brotherhood has also heightened market jitters, says Ashraf Akhnoukh of CICB Brokerage.

The Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party controls almost half the seats in parliament, on Saturday strongly cricised the government and warned that people were ready to revive the revolution.

Ezz Steel plunges 6.9 percent and Palm Hills 7.4 percent, while Orascom Telecom drops 3.5 percent and Orascom Telecom Media and Technology 2.8 percent.



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