Egypt vote drags on shares

Markets Update: Unofficial results from Egypt's presidential elections disappoint masses and investors.

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Egypt's shares tumbled yesterday after unofficial results from the country's presidential election showed that two candidates, Ahmed Shafiq, affiliated with the government of former president Hosni Mubarak, and Mohammed Morsi from the Muslim Brotherhood will compete in the run-offs.

"We are back to square one: the confrontation between the ex-regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. Both figures are disappointing to the masses," said Wafik Dawood, the head of institutional sales at Mega Investment Securities in Cairo. "Investors are speculating that there will be a prolonged period of unrest."

The EGX 30 Index declined 3.3 per cent to 4,804.73. The benchmark has rallied 32.6 per cent since January as investor appetite returned after November parliamentary elections went smoothly.

"Many blame the unofficial results on divisions among people and the failure to come up with one candidate with a pro-change campaign to represent the revolution," Mr Dawood added.

The official presidential election results are expected this week.

In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 2,460.36, while the Dubai Financial Market General Index was little changed at 1,480.25.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait's index lost 0.9 per cent to close at 6,277.21, Bahrain's slipped 0.1 per cent to 1,143.43, Oman's MSM 30 Index declined 0.4 per cent to 5,681.92, and Qatar's QE Index rose 0.3 per cent to 8,490.12.

The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index declined 0.3 per cent to 6,989.45.

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