Market Report: Egypt stocks slip on political uncertainties

Ahram Online, Sunday 29 Apr 2012

Diplomatic row with Saudi, domestic political wrangling put downward pressure on Egypt's two main stock indices

(Photo: Reuters)

Egypt stocks fell slightly in a slow Sunday session as internal political tensions between the government and parliament and external tensions between Egypt and Saudi Arabia cast their shadows on the securities exchange.

The benchmark EGX30 index fell by 0.28 per cent to close the day's trading at 4,921 points. The broader EGX70 index, meanwhile, fell 0.76 per cent with daily turnover hovering around LE257 million (roughly $48 million).

"With the ongoing problems between Egypt and Saudi and parliament's decision to suspend its activity until 6 May, no investor in his right mind would inject money into the Egyptian market right now," Mohamed Metwally, equity trader at the Cairo-based Prime Securities, told Ahram Online.

On Sunday, Egypt's parliament decided to freeze upcoming sessions in order to register its objection to the continuation of the Kamal El-Ganzouri government against the wishes of the parliamentary majority.

On the diplomatic front, Saudi Arabia on Saturday abruptly withdrew its ambassador from Egypt and closed its Cairo embassy. The decision followed several days of angry protests outside the embassy by Egyptian activists. 

Out of 171 shares listed on the exchange, 109 lost value on Sunday while 44 gained.

Cairo-based investment house EFG-Hermes was among the most prominent losers in today's session, registering LE23.5 million in trading and falling 1.7 per cent.

"EFG-Hermes is among the few shares that traders could realise gains on," Metwally said.

On Thursday, EFG-Hermes skyrocketed 9.03 per cent on reports that the firm was in talks to sell a 60-per cent stake to Qatar's QInvest.

Non-Arab foreign investors were the main sellers in Sunday's session, recording LE11.6 million in net sales. Egyptian investors, meanwhile, were net buyers at LE15.8 million.

Palm Hills Development (PHD), Egypt's second largest listed real estate developer, gained 3.7 percent at LE19 million in turnover. PHD is still capitalising from the momentum created by the lifting on Thursday of the asset freeze on company chairman Yassin Mansour.

Egyptian mobile provider Mobinil, meanwhile, saw its shares gain 1.05 per cent to close the day's trading at LE194.7 per share. "Mobinil is still gaining on the momentum of France Telecom's acquisition of its shares," Metwally explained.

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