Egypt stocks edged back into the green on Thursday as steady interest in the financial services sector outpaced fears over recent political violence in Cairo and helped lift the market.
The benchmark EGX30 gained 0.46 per cent to close at 4,929 points, closely followed by the broader EGX70 index which rose 0.38 per cent.
"Some key stocks carried the market upwards, such as EFG-Hermes and Orascom Telecom and Media Technology [OTMT]," Mostafa Badra, a capital markets expert told Ahram Online.
Shares in investment bank EFG-Hermes were the day's most active, making up LE71 million -- or 22 per cent -- of the day's total trade, which reached LE318 million ($53 million).
EFG-Hermes stock surged 3.65 per cent to close at LE13.64 per share. The largest investment bank in the Middle East announced Wednesday that its subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates had managed to obtain a margin trading licence for the Emirati market.
OTMT also gained 0.72 per cent, continuing to ride the wave of the recent sale of connected mobile operator Mobinil to France Telecom.
Mobinil itself saw shares slip 0.13 per cent to close at LE194.95 apiece.
"Mobinil share prices are getting close tp the France Telecom buy price so investors are no longer as interested in [them]," Badra explained.
A mandatory tender offer from France Telecom to purchase 100 per cent of the issued capital of Mobinil at LE202.5 per share was recently approved. Mobinil shares rapidly rose from LE174 per share to near their current level in the aftermath of the news.
Non-Arab foreign investors were the main net-sellers in Thursday’s session, with their LE63 million in trade making up a quarter of the day’s turnover.
"Foreigners have been net-selling for the past few sessions. This could be a result either of profit-taking or a reflection of worries before the presidential elections on 23 May," Badra added.
Egyptian investors made up 63 per cent of the day’s total turnover, net-buying LE39.5 million worth of stocks.
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) gained 1.17 percent to close at LE276.67 per share.
The company’s shareholders will vote on 17 May on a proposal to split the firm's construction and fertilisers businesses into two companies, a move designed to make both more competitive.
From the 175 shares traded on Thursday, 104 gained in value while 45 declined.