Egyptian stocks continued their recovery from last week’s battering on Sunday with both high and low-cap shares powered upward by news of a cabinet reshuffle aimed at quelling weeklong protests.
The EGX30 stock benchmark gained 3.26 per cent to finish at 5,263 points, the latest in a series of rallies since 12 July when the index tumbled to a two-month low on domestic and overseas turmoil.
"The significant climb in today's market was a direct result of the cabinet reshuffle. It sent a message to investors and traders that things are under control,” Ashraf Abdul Aziz, head of institutions sales at Arabia Online Securities told Ahram Online.
On Sunday, Egypt’s interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf accepted the resignation of the country’s finance and industry ministers Samir Radwan and Samir El-Sayad. Appointed in Radwan’s place is veteran economist Hazem Beblawi who will also act as deputy prime minister.
“It’s a change that can lead to stability,” says Issa Fathy, vice president of the securities division at Cairo's Chamber of Commerce. “These kind of moves can calm the market and bring the kind of conditions investors need to see.”
Total turnover surged to a recent high of LE516.26 million despite the Sunday closure of western markets, with gains across the board pushing the broader EGX70 up 3.56 per cent.
Construction and materials led the charge but practically all sectors finished in the green as a majority of individual Egyptian investors spread their interest. From 174 listed stocks, 156 gained and just 12 declined.
Sustained trade in high-caps like Orascom Construction and the Suez Canal Company for Technology Settling (SCTS) were major drivers behind the climb, says Abdel Aziz.
Top gainers were Kafr El Zayat Pesticides, up 10 per cent, and El Ezz Aldekhela Steel, up 9.46 per cent. Losses, in contrast, were minor with Recap Holding, down 4.96 per cent, seeing the only significant dip.
The day’s other news also influenced performance.
Shares in troubled property giant the Talaat Moustafa Group leaped 6.32 per cent, spurred by a deputy executive’s healthy sales projections for the coming year.
Private equity firm Citadel Capital meanwhile edged 0.75 per cent after releasing a statement admitting first-quarter losses but reporting a healthy rise in the value managed assets.
Foreign activity on Sunday was characteristically limited with net sales of LE13.26m. Locals, however, more than compensated.
"Despite foreigners’ selling attitude, the high buying activity of Egyptian individuals investors has kept the market up,” says Abdel Aziz.
"This reflects the increasing faith Egyptians have in the market. Despite the Tahrir sit-in and political turmoil they’re still buying.”