Egypt’s stocks hit their highest level in 17 months on Thursday after the central bank liberalised the exchange rate for the pound against foreign currencies, selling the US dollar to local banks at a tentative price of EGP 13.
The market’s benchmark EGX30 rose 3.35 percent to register 8,810 points in a session that saw a high daily turnover for the listed securities worth some EGP 1.6 billion.
Out of 178 stocks listed for the day, 65 went up and 89 shares declined.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided earlier on Thursday to freely float the pound and raise key interest rates as part of a set of reforms aimed at alleviating a dollar shortage, eradicating the black market and stabilising the country's flagging economy.
According to the CBE, the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate and the rate of the CBE's main operation have been raised to 14.75 percent, 15.75 percent and 15.25 percent respectively.
Following the CBE’s historic step, the dollar’s rate has declined in the parallel market to register around EGP 12.90, according to a trader in Cairo.
Only local investors were net sellers to the tune of EGP 288.2 million.
Global Telecom Holding was most traded during the session, soaring 2.62 percent to close at EGP 5.10 per share.
Commercial International Bank surged 5.71 percent to register EGP 55.16 per share.
Leading real estate developer Talaat Mostafa Group was up by 4.70 percent to close at EGP 6.24 per share.
However, the country’s renowned investment bank EFG Hermes and the third biggest real estate developer SODIC were down by 0.63 percent (EGP 15.83 per share) and 0.07 percent (EGP 13.51 per share) respectively.