A view shows the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: AP0
Egypt’s stocks finished in green on Wednesday, boosted by rumours that a deal between Orascom Telecom (OTH) and Algerian firm Djezzy was nearing completion.
"The EGX30 finished up because of four main shares, led by Orascom," said Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Arabeya Online Securities.
The main index EGX30 gained 0.4 per cent to finish at 5.452.03, despite the majority of shares finishing in red.
Of the market's 187 listed stocks, only 50 finished up, while 129 recorded losses in a day that saw total turnover of LE850 million.
OTH was the most traded share on Wednesday, comprising 20 per cent of the day's turnover. It gained 5.53 per cent to finish at LE4.39 per share before trading was halted in the middle of the session pending a disclosure request sent by the exchange.
OTH sent a release on Tuesday stating that there is no undisclosed material about the Orascom-Algeria deal.
Algeria expects a valuation of Vimpelcom's Djezzy mobile phone unit, which it is part-nationalising, to be completed by the end of March, Telecommunications Minister Moussa Benhamadi told Reuters on Tuesday.
Orascom Telecom Media Technology (OTMT) gained 1.3 per cent to close at LE1.55 per share.
Together with OTH, OTMT made up 30 per cent of the day's total turnover.
Market blue chips Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and Commercial International Bank (CIB) also saw gains of 0.6 and 1 per cent respectively.
Prominent property companies Talaat Mustafa Group (TMG) and Palm Hills both saw losses of 2.5 per cent.
TMG said its full-year net profit fell 39 per cent last year when the real estate industry was thrown into turmoil by a popular uprising and disputes over land ownership.
The decline was narrower than a 44 per cent drop in first-half earnings. TMG reported full-year profit of LE577.5 million ($95.7 million), down from LE940 million in 2010.
The broader EGX70 index fell 1.02 per cent.
Egyptian investors constituted the day's main buyers, scooping up shares worth LE40.8 million, while foreign investors sold LE55.2 million more than they bought.
Mobinil closed up 0.4 per cent.