Egyptian stocks were buoyed on Thursday by foreign buying even as local investors remained net-sellers ahead of the Islamic Eid holiday.
The main EGX30 index rose 0.52 percent to 8,638 points, led by Cairo-based investment bank EFG-Hermes, which rose 3.10 percent on a turnover of LE49.2 million, to trade at LE15.65 as rumours circulated in the market that its board was planning a "corporate action," Mohamed Radwan, head of equities at Pharos Holding, told Ahram Online.
EFG-Hermes had seen its price fall earlier this month after a bid for 20 percent of its shares by competitor Beltone Financial Holding and Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris at LE16 a share failed to attract the requested stake.
Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB) rose 1.13 percent to LE38.43.
In the real estate sector, Six of October Development and Investment Company rose 0.49 percent to trade at LE39.15.
The company had announced to the EGX on Thursday that it had signed a LE300 million loan contract with CIB to finish paying off a land plot in Sheikh Zayed.
Arab and other foreign investors, who together make up some 40 percent of the market, were net-buyers, for LE70.7 million.
Egyptian investors continued to act as net-sellers.
"Retail investors in particular prefer to be out of the market during the holidays, hence the local selling pressure ahead of Eid," explained Radwan, referring to the holiday which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, due to fall mid-week this year and be a long holiday.
Egypt's largest steelmaker, Ezz El-Dekhela Steel, saw its share price fall 0.41 percent to trade at LE16.91.
The metallurgical giant reported a net-profit of LE65 million for the quarter ending on 31 March 2014, compared to LE384 million achieved in the same period of the previous year.
The broader EGX70 gained 0.34 percentage points.
Daily turnover reached LE568 million.