Market Report: Egypt stocks regain 1.8 pct as presidential race enters home straight

Ahram Online, Monday 21 May 2012

Main index claws back some of Sunday's losses as local investors target high-cap stocks; turnover, though, remains low

Egypt exchange
Stocks bounce back on high-caps interest (Photo: AP)

Egypt’s stocks saw a rebound on Monday, clawing back some of the previous session's losses, as investor worries over political violence eased in the final run-up to presidential elections and the government reported solid first quarter growth for the economy.

The benchmark EGX30 climbed 1.8 per cent to 4,878.4 points by the end of play, fuelled by solid gains for the market's heavyweights. The broader EGX70 rose 1.39 per cent.
"The market saw the same scenario during the last parliamentary elections when the index also rose two days before voting," said Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at Arabeya Online, a Cairo-based brokerage.
Presidential elections are slated for 23 and 24 May with Egyptians freely choosing a leader for the first time in their history.
Earlier on Monday, Egypt's Minister of Planning Fayza Abul-Naga said the country's GDP grew 5.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.
The main index slipped around 2 per cent on Sunday amid a bout of renewed caution from investors.
Total turnover on Monday was a tight LE290.5 million ($48.05m), around half what market analysts have previously called a healthy level.
Foreigners were net-sellers to the tune of LE67.8 million. Egyptians and Arabs, meanwhile, were net-buyers of LE25.2 million and LE42.6 million worth of stock, respectively.
"Foreign investors are still afraid of uncertainty and they are still cautious over the election results," said Abdel-Aziz, pointing out a downward trend in foreign buying.
All the market's blue-chips finished the day in the green, led by Egypt's largest listed firm Orascom Construction Industries, up 1.3 per cent, and Commercial International Bank, which gained 3.1 per cent.
Seeing the heaviest trade was Orascom Telecom for Media and Technology (OTMT), with LE41.2 million of turnover, and which rose 3 per cent.
Shares in mobile operator Mobinil finished up a mild 0.07 per cent.
"OTMT investors expect cash dividends soon after Mobinil’s deal with France Telecom as it owns around 35 per cent of the mobile company," Abdel-Aziz said.
Last Wednesday, Mobinil approved France Telecom's tender offer for 100 per cent of its shares. The agreed price of LE202.5 per share is 73 per cent higher than the stock valuation made by an independent financial advisor appointed by Mobinil.
Property developers also did well in Monday’s session, with the Talaat Mostafa Group and Palm Hills rising 3 and 2.8 per cent respectively.
From the day's 172 traded stocks, 135 gained in value while 29 took losses.
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