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Market Report: Egypt's bourse cools down on Tuesday

The main index rose 0.12 per cent. Traders say that slow down is necessary after this year's rapid gains

Ahram Online, Tuesday 28 Feb 2012
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Two staff members of Egypt's stock exchange follow a monitor at the trading hall (Photo: AP)
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Egypt's bourse saw a marginal gain on Tuesday as the market cools down for the second consecutive session.

Main index EGX30 rose a meagre 0.12 per cent to sit at 5,225 points. Similarly, the broader EGX70 index gained 0.29 per cent.

"This slowdown in the market is very healthy," Mohamed Metwally, equity trader at the Cairo-based Prime Securities, told Ahram Online. "The Egyptian market is probably the highest gainer worldwide since the beginning of 2012. It is good that it slows down so it doesn’t overheat."

The EGX30, which closed 2011 at around 3,580 points, rocketed upwards as the new-year unfolded to gain 44 per cent to date, augmented by political stability and large deals.

Metwally attributes the growth to the trading activities of non-Arab foreign investors during January and parts of February 2012.

Foreign investors were the main buyers since the beginning of the year, netting over half a billion in buys, according to Metwally.

"It seems that foreign investors are currently selling holdings acquired at the beginning of the year. Lucrative spreads are realised at this point."

While Egyptians made up some 81 per cent of the day's LE611 million turnover (approx. $102 million), foreign investors showed a less than usual activity with 12 per cent of trade.

Another catalyst to Egypt's market recovery is the ownership change deal in mobile carrier Mobinil.

Mobinil's owners, France Telecom (FT) and Orascom Telecom Media Technology (OTMT) have announced an agreement that the FT buy 95 per cent of the mobile carrier's shares at LE202.5.

Shares in Mobinil, which closed the day's trade at 0.35 per cent drop, are currently trading at around LE173.

"A similar deal was announced back in 2009 but it never materialised. That's why investors might be worried about investing in Mobinil on the possible deal," said Metwally.

OTMT, on the other hand, gained 2.8 per cent to close at LE1.47 per share.

The company's founder, Naguib Sawiris, was found not guilty in a case accusing him of religion defamation.

Sawiris had posted on social media site Twitter a drawing of Mickey and Minnie Mouse sporting an Islamic beard and a niqab, which some had found insulting to the Islamic faith.

Almost half of the traded shares gained value on Tuesday while the other half dropped.

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) gained 0.45 per cent to close at LE269.9. Albeit the small increase, OCI is often the trend setter for EGX30 as it is the largest listed company.

OCI is rumoured to be undergoing a stock split into two firms: a construction and a cement venture, similar to that of stable mate Orascom Telecom.

Palm Hills development, a share which saw significant gains over the past few session, finally decelerated on Tuesday, dropping 0.87 per cent.

The rally of the real estate developer share price was without a clear motive, which drove the company to release a statement saying that no major events are taking place within it.

"There is a rumour going on about an Arab-Gulf investor that would buy a sizable share in PHD. Maybe that is why the share was rallying," Metwally said. "Or maybe it is just normal speculation."

Other blue chips saw a variable performance, with Commercial International Bank dropping 0.2 per cent and EFG-Hermes and Telecom Egypt gaining 1.4 and 0.76 per cent respectively. 

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