Egypt's stock index loses $3B as oil price plunge hits regional markets

Egypt's stock market has plunged by 22 billion Egyptian pounds (just over $3 billion) in a single day of trading as low oil prices have dragged down regional economies.

The EGX30 index closed 5.23 percent lower, with 170 stocks declining and just five showing gains.

Wael Ziada, head of research at EFG Hermes, says the drop was caused by the steep decline in oil prices, which have decreased by nearly half since late June.

Last month, an International Monetary Fund official said that Egypt's economy had begun to recover after nearly four years of political turmoil. The EGX30 index has shown overall gains of 28.49 percent so far this year.

The government aims to attract investment by hosting a three-day international economic conference in March.