Amer Group boosts Egypt; Saudi stalls at chart barrier

Reuters , Monday 12 Oct 2015

A surge in the shares of real estate developer Amer Group boosted Egypt's stock market on Monday, while a recovery of Saudi Arabia's market stalled as the index ran into technical resistance.
 
Egypt's index surged 1.4 percent as Amer jumped 8.8 percent. The exchange said it would suspend trading in the company's shares from next Monday until it completed its planned split into two companies; investors are bullish on the split, and they scrambled to buy the stock while they still could.
 
Amer's surge ignited interest in other real estate stocks, with Palm Hills Development rising 1.9 percent and Talaat Mostafa adding 1.6 percent.
   
Consultants JLL said in their third-quarter report on the Cairo real estate market that there was "increasing confidence and positive performance in the...market as a result of the improved economic and political environment in Egypt".
 
JLL also noted that depreciation of the Egyptian pound earlier this year had increased interest in purchases of apartments and villas. Many investors think the currency may depreciate further in coming months, making real estate a hedge against a weak currency.
 
United Arab Stevedoring soared 11.5 percent after saying it aimed to acquire land next to the New Suez Canal as a base for expanded operations. It did not elaborate.
 
Gulf markets were much more subdued. The Saudi index , which had risen sharply in the past several days on the back of rebounding petrochemical stocks, edged down 0.1 percent to 7,817 points after litting a chart barrier at 7,812-7,953 points, its highs in September and at the end of August.
 
Leading petchem Saudi Basic Industries slipped 1.1 percent and National Commercial Bank, the kingdom's largest bank by assets, fell 0.9 percent after it posted a net profit of 1.99 billion riyals in the three months to Sept. 30.
 
Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast NCB would make 2.23 billion riyals.
 
But telecommunications operator Mobily gained 1.7 percent in active trade as it resumed trading after a one-day suspension in response to preliminary decisions of the market regulator's Committees for the Resolution of Securities Disputes.
 
Mobily said late on Sunday that a committee had rejected investors' demands for compensation for losses suffered as a result of the company's restatements of its earnings.
 
This was taken as positive news by investors, though the company's legal and business problems are not over. 
 
Oil shipper Bahri continued a strong recovery triggered by last week's rebound of oil prices; it climbed a further 3.7 percent.
 
In Qatar, the index edged up 0.1 percent though Dlala Brokerage jumped 6.4 percent in unusually heavy trade.
 
Dubai's index rose 0.3 percent as commodities shipper Gulf Navigation jumped 6.0 percent.
 
Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.1 percent.
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