Egypt market awaits turmoil result on Mobinil earnings

Reuters, Friday 22 Apr 2011

Mobile company profits will be an important indicator of the economic impact of political upheaval, say analysts

Investors in Egypt are awaiting Mobinil first quarter results due to be released 27 April for the first major indication of how the political unrest that toppled Egypt's president and brought much of the economy to a temporary halt will affect company earnings.

Telecoms firm Mobinil is considered one of the exchange's lesser affected companies, since people continued to rely on telephones during most of the unrest, analysts say.

However, mobile companies are expected to have lost important roaming fee revenue from tourists, whose numbers have been greatly reduced by the troubles.

"First quarter results generally will be important for the market to watch," said Wael Ziada, head of research at EFG-Hermes.

"The market is already expecting the recent events to impact first quarter results for most of the companies.

Egyptian real estate stocks will also be in the spotlight as probes on how the government distributed land under the ousted government move forward.

An Egyptian court will rule soon on whether the sale of state land to Palm Hills Development (PHD), the country's second-biggest listed developer, should be scrapped.

A judicial panel concluded earlier this month the sale was illegal because it was priced too cheaply and was not publicly auctioned. The judicial body decision has in the past influenced court verdicts.

On 14 April, real estate firm Egyptian Resorts said the Tourism Development Authority had retracted its approval for selling a land plot allocated for the firm's Sahl Hasheesh resort on the Red Sea.

Egyptian markets will be closed on Sunday for Orthodox Easter and on Monday for Sham el-Nesim, a springtime festival that dates back to Pharaonic times.

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