Today's Falling Knife: Centamin Plunges 14% After Negative Report From Egyptian Authorities


LONDON -- Shares in Centamin plummeted over 14% in early trade this morning, as it gave an update on the legal proceedings over the decision last October to revoke the exploitation lease for its Sukari gold mine in Egypt.

Centamin admitted that the report produced by the Egyptian State Commissioner's Office contains negative non-binding recommendations to the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt (SAC), but management stressed that they "[do] not believe that they address the substantive merits of Centamin's appeal and as such the Company's grounds of appeal remain unchanged".

However, there's a glimmer of hope for the miner and its shareholders, as Centamin pointed out that the recommendations of the State Commissioner's Office are "advisory only".

Additionally, there is still a chance that the case could be dismissed, with management pointing to a precedent and noting that "in its ruling on 20 March 2013, in enforcing its decision to suspend the ruling of the Administrative Court, SAC unanimously held that, 'on the basis of the copy of the exploitation lease executed by the Minister of Petroleum presented to SAC, the annulment of such lease by the Administrative Court was likely to be cancelled upon the issuance of a judgment on the merits of the case'".

The first hearing will take place on on 19 June 2013.

Trading at 39p at the time of writing, Centamin's share price has yet to regain all of its value prior to the plunge, and the question whether the potential for recovery makes Centamin a 'buy' remains your decision.

Indeed, you may wish to consult this free Motley Fool report, which explains how betting on battered shares can provide wonderful gains... if the underlying company recovers. To put a possible turnaround into perspective, Centamin's shares reached a peak of 197p before the Egyptian troubles erupted.

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