October 16, 2008 / 1:28 PM / 11 years ago

Orascom Telecom plunges, leading Egypt shares down

CAIRO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Orascom Telecom ORTE.CAORTEq.L posted its sharpest single-day drop in 22 months on Thursday, dragging down Egypt’s CASE30 index .CASE30, as foreigners dumped the stock as part of a global equity sell-off.

Shares of Orascom, the largest Arab mobile operator by subscribers, tumbled 8.18 percent to 34.90 Egyptian pounds

($6.24). The share had fallen 58 percent this year to Wednesday’s close.

“There is a lot of selling pressure from foreign investors reacting to what is happening globally,” said Mohammed Radwan, trader at Pharos Securities.

Shares across the world fell for the second straight day on Thursday, pummelled by signs the world’s biggest economies were headed for recession after a month of financial sector turmoil.

The CASE 30 index fell 3.02 percent to 5,792.01 points, its second straight session of drops.

Banking shares also fell. Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA)(COMIq.L), Egypt’s largest lender by market value, shed 4.43 percent to 34.50 pounds. Shares of the bank had fallen 40 percent this year to Wednesday’s close.

“The banking sector locally is completely isolated from the kind of risk we see over there,” Radwan said. “But the sentiment towards banks is negative.”

The Hermes index .HRMS retreated 2.71 percent to 518.80 points and the broader CIBC index .CIBC dropped 2.52 percent to 298.81 points.

($1 = 5.59 Egyptian pounds)

(Writing by Will Rasmussen)

((william.rasmussen@reuters.com; +20 2 2578 3290/1; Reuters Messaging: william.rasmussen.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MARKETS EGYPT/CLOSER

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