EGYPTIAN STOCK MARKET PLUNGES SHARPLY
Egypt’s benchmark stock index headed for the biggest drop in seven weeks after initial presidential election results showed that the two most divisive candidates will vie for the post in a run-off next month.
Talaat Moustafa Group (TMGH) Holding, the biggest publicly traded property developer by market value, tumbled 6.1 percent. Pioneers Holding (PIOH), a financial services company, headed for the biggest decline since May 2. The benchmark EGX 30 Index tumbled 2.2 percent, poised for the biggest loss since April 9, to 4,863.59 at 11:15 a.m. in Cairo.
Egypt’s first presidential election after last year’s ouster of Hosni Mubarak gave the lead to Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi and Mubarak’s last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, according to unofficial tallies. The closeness of the result, with only about 1 percentage point between the two top candidates, reflected the polarization that has developed in Egypt since the uprising, where the hope for a new start that millions had harbored has been overshadowed by an increase in crime and a slump in the economy.