August 7, 2008 / 12:09 PM / 11 years ago

Talaat Moustafa drops, Egypt's main index ends down

CAIRO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Talaat Moustafa Holding (TMGH.CA) dragged Egypt’s benchmark index lower on Thursday with the share making its sharpest single-day drop in over a month as investors worried real estate prices could decline and hit profits.

Shares of Egypt’s largest developer by market value shed 3.77 percent to 7.91 Egyptian pounds ($1.49). Heliopolis Housing (HELI.CA), Egypt’s second largest developer, retreated 2.79 percent to last trade at 57.76 pounds.

“Based on net asset value, the stocks are trading at a big discount, but there has been a cautious sentiment toward real estate in general,” said Mohamed Radwan, trader at Pharos Securities in Cairo. “Given the international problems with subprime, people don’t want to get in that position.”

Shares of Talaat Moustafa have fallen more than 30 percent this year and Heliopolis Housing has shed nearly 50 percent.

Shares of Commercial International Bank (COMI.CA)(COMIq.L), Egypt’s largest lender by market value, gained 1.7 percent to 50.30 pounds. The stock has risen more than 2 percent since August 3, when a Dubai state-owned fund said it bought a 5.24 percent stake in the lender.

“Dubai’s acquisition has given a push to institutional investors in general,” Radwan said. “It gives them confidence.”

Shares of Orascom Construction Industries OCIC.CAOCICq.L dropped 2.46 percent to 366.10 pounds.

Egypt’s benchmark CASE 30 index .CASE30, down about 15 percent this year, dipped 0.49 percent to 8,878.86 points. The Hermes index .HRMS was near flat at 773.68 points, and the broader CIBC index .CIBC rose 0.71 percent to 433.74 points. ($1 = 5.30 Egyptian pounds) (Writing by Will Rasmussen)

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