Market Report: Egypt stocks up further 1.8 pct on telecoms deal

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Apr 2012

Promise of an imminent Mobinil takeover prompts a surge in telecoms stocks and spurs trade in the broader market

Egypt exchange
Egyptian stocks see their second day of gains, spurred by telecoms news (Photo: AP)

Egyptian stocks saw green in the week's final session, bolstered by the prospect of an imminent conclusion to France Telecom's long-awaited takeover of local mobile operator Mobinil.

The benchmark EGX30 climbed 1.79 percent to close at 4,735 points, in its second consecutive session of gains. Turnover also saw a partial recovery, edging up to LE442 million ($73.6 million).
"The active telecom sector helped offset the political crisis we're seeing in Egypt, driving up the main index," said Eissa Fathy, vice-president of the securities division at the Egyptian Chamber of Commerce.
Telecoms made up about 57 percent of the day's total trade, Fathy added.
Orascom Telecom and Media Technology (OTMT) and Mobinil led the surge for the second day, registering gains of 6.72 and 1.71 percent, respectively.
OTMT saw the session's highest turnover with LE90.36 million, Mobinil accumulated LE67.36 million.
France Telecom said on Thursday that it had finalised a deal to buy out most of its partner's stake in Egyptian telecom operator Mobinil for 1.5 billion euros, leaving the joint venture with 95 percent French ownership but significant Egyptian board and management presence. 
The chairman of financial market regulator EFSA, Ashraf El-Sharqawy, said the watchdog would give its response next week.
"The announcement of a specific date to complete the France Telecom and Mobinil deal was a strong incentive for investors in this sector," says Issa Fathy, 
Orascom Telecom Holding (OT), formerly tied to OTMT's assets until a split earlier this year, saw its shares climb 2.98 per centy.
The benefits spilled over to other heavyweight shares, with Ezz Steel gaining a further 3.11 per cent and real estate giants Talaat Moustafa Group and Palm Hills up nearly 2 percent apiece.
One of the country's largest firms by market capitalisation, the Commercial International Bank, gained 2.61 percent.
Egyptians and other Arabs were net-buyers,  recording net inflows of LE64.3million and LE20 million respectively.
Foreign investors, by contrast, were net-sellers to the tune of LE84.3 million.
"Foreigners prefer to grab the temporary gains made by high-cap shares. They don't have any confidence in Egypt's political stability," said Fathy.
From the 173 shares listed on the exchange, 104 gained in value while 46 took losses.
The wide gains were enough to push the broader EGX70 up 0.86 percent by the closing bell.
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