Market Report: Egypt's stocks up 2.5 pct as parliament gets down to business

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 Jan 2012

The Bourse bounces back as local investors shrug off simmering protests and target high-cap stocks

Egypt stock exchange
Egyptian stocks make a strong recovery on Tuesday (Photo: AP)

Egyptian stocks surged back into the green on Tuesday as the nation's newly-elected parliament got down to business, sparking an upturn in trade from local investors who became the day's major buyers.

The benchmark EGX30 climbed 2.5 per cent to close the session at 4,648 points, more than making up for the previous day's 0.1 per cent dip.
 
"Elections in parliament for government committees and the Prime Minister's visit to the lower house both stimulated investor interest in the market," Mostafa Badra, a market expert, told Ahram Online.
 
Egypt's lower house of parliament elected the heads of 19 parliamentary committees on Tuesday, with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party winning a solid majority.
 
The Bourse's broader indices also furthered their gains on Tuesday, the EGX70 rising 2.1 per cent and reflecting across-the-board gains. 
 
From the session's 180 listed stocks, 156 finished up while 20 recorded losses. 
 
Turnover saw a further boost as well, hitting LE609 million. Egyptians were the major buyers, scooping up a net LE17 million in shares.
Foreign investors, meanwhile, sold LE15 million more than they bought.
 
"It was time for foreigners to take profits -- they had been net-buyers for numerous sessions," said Badra. "Also, the US and European markets saw losses today so their behaviour reflected that."
 
The US-based Dow Jones and NASDAQ fell 0.05 and 0.1 per cent respectively on Tuesday, while London's FTSE dipped 1 per cent.
 
Leading the market was mobile operator Mobinil, up 8 per cent on talk that founder Naguib Sawiris might be trying to raise his family's stake to sell it on to France Telecom.
 
The new split share Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding rose by 4 per cent, while stablemates Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and the now Russian-owned Orascom Telecom gained 2.3 and 1.1 per cent respectively.
 
OCI shares saw the day's highest turnover at about LE47 million, a sign that it was business as usual for a more higher-powered trading day. 
 
Commercial International Bank, whose performance is often cited as a weathervane for insitutional confidence in the market, saw its shares rise 2.4 per cent.
 
Property development heavyweights TMG, Palm Hills and SODIC did similarly well, finishing up 2.5, 4.5 and 3.6 per cent respectively.
 
The construction sector was also bolstered by Ezz Steel, whose stocks surged 5 per cent despite its Tuesday announcement that net profits for the first nine months of 2011 were down a quarter on the same period the year before.
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