Market Report: Egypt high-caps pull main index up 0.85 per cent

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Oct 2011

Positive news for Orascom Construction and EFG-Hermes adds to the steady performance of global stocks to lead the benchmark back into the green

Egypt
High-caps are continuing to keep the market afloat, say traders (Photo: AP)

Egyptian stocks saw another sesson of modest gains Tuesday, powered upwards by a smattering of positive news for major firms and the steady performance of global markets.

The benchmark EGX30 closed the day up 0.85 per cent at 4,349 points, its latest in a weeklong series of gains that reflected growing investor interest in a select few of Egypt's commercial giants.
 
"World stocks are seeing steady trade and some are gaining in value -- this affects Egyptian perfomance," said Ashraf Abdel Aziz, head of institutions sales at Arabeya Online Securities. "On a local level, major blue-chip stocks pushed the market up which is obvious when you look at turnover for these shares." 
 
From the days 178 listed stocks, 52 gained in value and 110 declined, with sectors near-evenly splashed with green and red. 
 
Total turnover was LE251.8 million, a significant drop on Monday's LE309m.
 
The Commercial International Bank yet again saw the highest activity -- some LE35.36 million -- finishing up 2.44 per cent on the interest of mainly foreign buyers who made up 29 per cent of trade and were the day's sole net-buyers.
 
Egypt's largest listed firm Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) also helped drive the main index, closing 2.15 per cent up, following the firm's announcement of participation in a $3 billion fertiliser plant venture in Brazil. 
 
OCI will link up with Brazil's EBX group to set up a fertiliser facility near the Port of Acu which will produce up to 3 million tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser per year .
 
The EGX30 got a further boost from the performance of EFG-Hermes. The investment bank gained 3.74 per cent following its statement claiming to be the leading brokerage in terms of volume of business in Egypt and one of the top in terms of volume in Dubai.
 
Other heavyweights did less well, their faltering performances acting to stifle larger gains.
 
Recent rumours about the flight from Egypt of business tycoon brothers Naguib and Samih Sawiris seemed to have a belated effect on related stocks.
 
Orascom Telecom, which Naguib previously headed, slumped 1.25 per cent while luxury property developers Orascom Development Holding, which has Samih as chairman, fell 3.62 per cent. Both firms have stated the Sawiris brothers are still in the country.
 
There were losses for other property firms too, with the beleagured Talaat Moustafa Group finishing down 1.63 per cent after an Egyptian court on Tuesday set the next hearing for its long-running land dispute case for 22 November. 
 
The firm's $3 billion Madinaty project has been caught up in legal dispute since last year over the purchase of land directly from the state instead of by public auction.
 
Smaller firms again bore the brunt of the losses on Tuesday, reflected in the 1.3 per cent tumble of the broader EGX70 index.
 
The EXG70 tracks lower-cap and more speculator-friendly stocks, which took a hit as Egyptian and Arab investors shifted their positions, offloading shares to became net-sellers.
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