Market Report: Egypt Bourse up 0.7 pct despite fuel crisis

Bassem Abo Alabass, Wednesday 18 Jan 2012

Investors remain more concerned about potential political turbulence than Egypt's ongoing petrol shortage

Egypt Stocks
Egypt's Bourse makes further gains on Wednesday (Photo: AP)

Egypt stocks saw gains for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, with the benchmark EGX30 index rising 0.7 per cent to close out the day at 3,905 points despite an ongoing fuel shortage in the local market.

“Investors are looking for stability and the absence of violence,” Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of sales at the Cairo-based Arabeya Online Securities, told Ahram Online. “Traders are less concerned with the current fuel problem than they are with possible street riots.”

Egypt’s ongoing gasoline shortage has reportedly spread to most governorates nationwide, including capital Cairo, resulting in long queues outside petrol stations in many cases. On Tuesday, Egypt's petroleum minister promised that normal supply levels would resume by Wednesday at the latest.

Abdel-Aziz went on to point out that the Egyptian government had recently held a series of meetings with an IMF delegation, the US and Libya’s new government – all of which served to bolster market confidence, especially among foreign investors.

The bourse’s broader-based indices also moved upwards on Wednesday, with the EGX70 and EGX100 rising 0.5 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Foreigners were net-buyers for the day at LE14.7 million, while Egyptian investors represented net-sellers at LE5 million.

“European markets are currently rebounding, so now is a good time for foreigners to buy Egyptian stocks,” Abdel-Aziz noted.

European markets held steady on Wednesday on the back of ongoing talks over Greek debt.

Most blue chips, meanwhile, gained value, led by Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), which rose by 1.2 per cent and accounted for some LE40 million worth of the day’s transactions.

The high-cap Commercial International Bank (CIB) was the only exception, declining by 1 per cent for the day.

Mobinil shares saw their first gains in three weeks, meanwhile, surging 2.7 per cent.

Telecom Egypt also rose by 2 per cent, since it still depends on dividends of 30 piastres ($0.05) per share on deferred profits.

TMG, Palm Hills and SODIC also increased by 0.6, 1 and 2.4 per cent respectively.

The real estate sector, meanwhile, was heartened by an announcement by the government that it would not sieze any disputed land from developers but would instead attempt to settle ongoing disputes out of court.

Ezz Steel, too, increased by 1 per cent for the day as investors failed to respond to rumours that 3000 workers had staged a protest at the company’s factory in Sadat City. According to a company statement on Wednesday, the factory in question only employs some 1000 workers.

Out of 174 stocks listed on the exchange, 93 gained for the day while 62 recorded losses. Total daily turnover stood at some LE287 million.

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