Market Report: Egypt stocks edge up 0.5 pct but uncertainty looms

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Jun 2012

Main index sees a slight revival, but it may be the calm before the storm as Egypt nervously awaits results of last weekend's presidential runoff

Egypt market
The headache could continue with tomorrow's results (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian stocks saw a mild revival on Wednesday after a week of political turmoil, but all signs are that worse may be to come when official presidential results are unveiled tomorrow.

The benchmark EGX30 edged up 0.51 per cent to close the session at 4,180.4 points. This mild gain comes after the index lost 8.1 per cent over the past week, sending it to its lowest in nearly five months.
 
"The country is going through a time of extreme uncertainty, there are buyers in the market, but they are very weak and selling pressures are much stronger," said Walaa Hazem, asset manager at HC Securities. 
 
The last eight days have seen a legal ruling dissolving the country's new parliament, both candidates in a divisive presidential election claim victory and floundering in the process of drafting a new constitution. On Wednesday, the Egyptian pound briefly fell to its lowest level against the US dollar in more than seven years.
 
"Some people are expecting a breakout of violence triggered after the presidential results are announced on Thursday," Hazem adds.
 
Total turnover was LE237.99 million (US$39.309m), with the majority of trade taken up by a few large caps. From the day's 170 listed stocks, 88 gained in value and 65 declined.
 
Telecoms giant OTMT saw LE49.12 million worth of trade, and finished the day up 2.3 per cent. It was followed by property heavyweight SODIC (up 2 per cent) with LE34.12 million, and OCI with LE25.64 million, which gained 0.22 per cent.
 
Arabs and local institutions were evident buyers in the market. Foreign investors, who made up around a third of trade, continued to exit the market, net-selling a total of LE23.44 million in stocks.
 
"It's only the political situation that is affecting what's going on in the market," Omar Ascar of Cairo Capital Securities told Reuters.
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