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Market Report: Bourse rally marred by ten-year turnover low

Egyptian market bounces back after last week's carnage, but registers lowest total turnover in a decade

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Oct 2011
Egyptian Stock Exchange
A view shows the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian stock market edged into the green on Sunday, reversing some of last week's losses but recording a ten-year low in terms of turnover.

The benchmark EGX30 index broke the 4,000-point mark, rising 1.94 per cent to close out the day at 4,028 points.

Total market turnover, however, stood at a mere LE162.2 million (roughly $27 million), which, for some market analysts, served to undermine the significance of the day’s gains.

"Today’s performance is a normal rebound from last week's drop,” said market expert Moustafa Badra. “We hope it turns into an upward trend - at least in the short term - but volumes aren’t encouraging.”

The market tumbled for three consecutive sessions last week to fall below 4,000 points as company shares lost value across the board.

The broader-based EGX70 index also rose on Sunday, gaining 1.85 per cent. Since the beginning of 2011, the index has lost a whopping 37.02 per cent of its value.

"The EGX70 is highly undervalued,” said Badra. “It had not been expected to fall below 600 points, but it’s now running at 454 points."

Out of 171 traded shares, 114 rose in value on Sunday while 41 finished in the red. Individual investors, who were net sellers, accounted for 67 per cent of the day’s trades.

Commercial International Bank (CIB), one of the bourse's most active shares, meanwhile, accounted for 20 per cent of total trading, gaining 2.46 per cent to close at LE22.94 per share.

"CIB has carried the market upward for several sessions,” said Badra, attributing the positive performance to activity by foreign investors.

Foreigners accounted for 22 per cent of total trading, selling off some LE16.8 million worth of stock. Egyptian investors, meanwhile, were net buyers, accounting for 72 per cent of the day’s trades.

Market bellwether Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) rose by 3.68 per cent for the day to close at LE206.2 per share. OCI was recently awarded a contract by the UAE's Aldar Properties to build a large-scale mall on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island.

Blue-chip stocks Telecom Egypt, Orascom Telecom and Mobinil gained 2.58, 2.22 and 1.28 per cent respectively.

Real estate heavyweights Talaat Mostafa Group and Palm Hills Development, meanwhile, fell by 0.29 and 0.85 per cent respectively.

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