Egyptian shares dropped the most in a month as the pound slid to a record and investors freed-up cash for the country’s first initial public offering in almost four years.
The benchmark EGX30 Index retreated 1.5 percent, the most since April 6, to 8,211.05 at the close in Cairo. About 840 million Egyptian pounds ($119 million) of stocks traded, compared with a one-year daily average of 549 million pounds. Shares in Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the nation’s biggest publicly traded lender, fell 1.4 percent.
Equities in North Africa’s biggest market were the fourth-worst performer among 93 stock gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Arabian Cement Co. plans to sell shares this month, Egypt’s first IPO since November 2010. The nation’s currency slid 0.2 percent to 7.0450 per dollar at 4:10 p.m. in Cairo in the interbank market where its movement is controlled by the central bank, taking its year-to-date decline to 1.3 percent.
“We are maybe seeing the combined effect of the depreciating pound and liquidation of assets for retail investors looking to buy into Arabian Cement’s IPO,” Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities, said today by phone. “In both cases it’s quite a normal market reaction.”
Arabian Cement said in a prospectus published this week it plans to sell as many as 85.2 million shares, or 22.5 percent of the company at a maximum of 9.85 pounds a piece. Aridos Jativa, a unit of Spain’s Cementos La Union, will hold onto its 60 percent stake for at least two fiscal years following the sale, according to the document.