Stock market head: First quarter of 2015 worst since 2008 crisis

The first quarter of this year has been the worst since the 2008 economic crisis, said Chairman of the Egyptian Stock Exchange Mohamed Omran.

The stock market was negatively affected recently due to imposing capital gains tax and mechanisms to collect it, and due to some unclear items in the regulations of the tax law,  he added.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange has been classified as the second best stock exchange in the world during 2014, but now is considered the second worst stock exchange in the world because of taxes, Omran said.

During Omran's meeting with representatives of the division of securities of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, on Thursday evening, he said that the average trading volumes fell from LE900 million in 2014 to about LE400 million during the current year, as the number of investors fell from 80,000 to 50,000.

The majority of countries seek to attract new investors, led by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait, by annulling taxes imposed on foreign investors.

The decline in stock prices is not the only repercussion of taxes on the stock market. The crisis lies in the loss of the market's attractiveness to investors, and its inability to perform its key role in the financing of projects, said Omran.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange has been experiencing waves of sharp fluctuations in recent weeks after the issuance of the executive regulations of the tax code.

The Securities Division representatives called on Prime Minister Mehleb to reconsider the stock exchange tax law, attributing losses suffered by the market during the last period to the unclear items of the executive regulations of the tax code.

The regulations were issued by the Finance Minister at the beginning of last April. Stock market representatives will hold a meeting with the prime minister on Monday over the subject.

Edited translation of Al-Masry Al-Youm

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