Traders should wait, not sell stocks - Egyptian Finance Minister
Egyptian Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros Ghali had some advice for stock traders on Monday, advising them that they "should wait out" the current crisis and not sell their stocks, reports dpa.
Speaking at the Euromoney conference in Cairo, Ghali said: "Those who are away, stay away; those who are in (the market), sit tight, because the mood is not good."
He insisted that the huge drop in the Cairo exchange's benchmark CASE 30 index this year does not reflect the soundness of the companies on the exchange.
The Egyptian bourse had reached a high of 12,000 points last May, but has plummeted around 45 per cent since then. The fall has come amid the overall global financial turmoil.
"Stock markets are driven by two fundamental emotions: greed and panic. If you are out of the market keep away right now, unless you lack these fundamental emotions," Ghali joked.
Ghali, who was elected as head of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), had come back from his first meeting in Washington few days ago and described as "utter panic" the mood there.
"The public are not convinced that the rescue packages are good enough to return them their money. We are facing a recession that no body knows for how long, and a confidence crisis.
"So I am asking you to take a chance and have faith in what we have done have faith in what you can do," said Ghali, who stressed that the Egyptian economy is "safe and healthy.".
"It is a safe bet to say that Egypt's growth rate next year will be 6 to 7 per cent. The momentum was on the positive side until two to three months ago at 7.2 per cent, and it will not be brought to full stop overnight," Ghali told the two-day conference that will continue Tuesday.
Egypt's economy boomed after Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was appointed in 2004, where his cabinet moved towards privatization and slashing taxes to improve the business environment. The economy grew 7.2 percent last year.