Market Report: Arabs drive Egypt stocks up 2.3 pct

Ahram Online, Wednesday 29 Feb 2012

EGX30 climbs 2.3 pct to 5,350 points on Wednesday as Arab, Egyptian investors make LE15.3 million, LE661,000 worth of transactions respectively

staff at Egypt's stock exchange market (Photo: AP)

Egypt stocks closed up on Wednesday with the benchmark EGX30 index rising by 2.3 per cent to alight at 5,350 points.

Arab and Egyptian investors were net buyers for the day, making some LE15.3 million and LE661,000 worth of transactions respectively. Foreigners investors, meanwhile, were net sellers at LE16 million.

"Arab investors are trying to shore up Egypt's economy, especially after recent statement by the Saudi prince about the kingdom's financial assistance to Egypt," said Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Cairo-based Arabeya Online Securities.

On Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal announced that Egypt had received a $500 million grant from Saudi Arabia in May 2011 as part of a $3.7 billion aid package. He went on to deny claims made on Sunday by Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri that Arab and Western countries had failed to live up to earlier promises to help Egypt's faltering economy following last year's revolution.

According to Abdel-Aziz, Arab investors will remain sanguine about the Egyptian market as long as Gulf bourses continue to perform well.

On Monday, the Saudi exchange's main index rose by 0.9 per cent to its highest levels since September 2008. Total traded value jumped to 12.2 billion riyals ($3.25 billion) – a four-year high – as investors continue to pour money into equities on rising confidence.

Egypt's broader EGX70 index, meanwhile, also rose, climbing 1.3 per cent in Wednesday trading.

The surge was led by Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMTH) and Mobinil, which rose by 7 and 2.7 per cent respectively.

"Investors obviously still have faith in the recent deal between Mobinil and France Telecom," said Abdel-Aziz.

Market blue chips Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and Commercial International Bank (CIB) also saw gains of 2.3 and 1.1 per cent respectively.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi government approved a $363 million contract with OCI to build a 1000- megawatt gas power plant in the north of the country.

Bellwether Orascom Telecom (OT), meanwhile, surged a whopping 6.3 per cent for the day.

Property developer TMG also traded into the green, finishing the day up by 2 per cent, while Palm Hills shares dipped by 1 per cent – the only heavyweight to register a loss.

"Rumours of an Arab-Gulf investor picking up a sizable share of Palm Hills have continued to have a negative impact on prices," Abdel-Aziz said.

Of the market's 181 listed stocks, 127 finished up on Wednesday, while 44 recorded losses in a day that saw total daily turnover of LE771.3 million.

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