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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 29/05/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Egyptian stocks tumbled the most in two months after unofficial presidential election results showed the two most-divisive candidates are headed for a runoff next month. Arabian Gulf shares retreated.

Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, the biggest publicly-traded property developer by market value, fell the most since March. Orascom Telecom lost 7.9 per cent. The benchmark EGX 30 Index dropped 3.1 per cent, the biggest intraday decline since March 25, to 4,820.20 in midday Cairo trading. The measure has decreased 2.5 per cent this month. Kuwait's gauge declined the most since September and the Bloomberg GCC 200 Index retreated less than 0.1 per cent.

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 onr percentage point between the two top candidates, reflected the divisions that persist.

"We're really back to square one: the Muslim Brotherhood versus the old regime," said Teymour El Derini, head of Middle East sales at Cairo-based Naeem Brokerage. "Investors fear the chaos that might happen until the runoff. People are starting to realize not much has changed, and it may be the cause of more unrest in the future."

The official result is due to be announced this week after appeals are heard. In the likely event that no candidate secured more than 50 per cent of the vote, a second round will be held on June 16 and 17.

Talaat Moustafa lost 7.9 percent to E4.07. Orascom Telecom headed for the biggest decline since January 2011 to E3.13. An Algerian court was due to resume on Sunday hearing Orascom's appeal of a 1.3 billion fine against its local unit because of foreign exchange violations.

Kuwait's drop

Kuwait SE Price Index retreated one per cent, the most since September 25, to 6,277.21 after the finance minister resigned, raising investor concern that renewed political wrangling will hurt economic growth. The index fell for all but five days this month as Europe's debt crisis pushed oil prices 13 per cent lower.

Mustafa Al Shimali quit on May 24 after an 11-hour questioning by opposition lawmakers who alleged financial irregularities in institutions under his authority. That day, an arbitration panel ordered the fourth-biggest Opec producer to pay Dow Chemical a 2.16 billion fine after canceling a 2008 agreement to buy Dow's plastics business.

Dubai's DFM General Index increased less than 0.1 per cent and Abu Dhabi's ADX General Index retreated 0.2 per cent. Oman's MSM30 Index lost 0.5 per cent. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All Share Index and Bahrain's measure fell 0.2 per cent each.


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