Egypt market defies political unrest, rises 3.5 pct Tuesday

Ahram Online, Tuesday 4 Dec 2012

Local stock market gains almost 3.5 pct Tuesday despite ongoing political friction over Morsi decree, draft constitution

Egypt stocks
File photo: A view shows the Egyptian Stock Exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt stocks rose considerably on Tuesday despite ongoing political confusion, with the benchmark EGX30 index gaining 3.46 per cent to reach 4,991 points.

A decision by 12 Egyptian newspapers and five television channels to stage a one-day strike did not appear to affect Egypt's stock market on Tuesday. Nor, it would appear, did calls by opposition groups for a march to the presidential palace.

The newspapers will not go to print on Tuesday and the television channels will temporarily cease transmission on Wednesday to object to President Mohamed Mori's recent constitutional declaration and Egypt's draft constitution.

Hani Genena, head of research at Cairo-based Pharos Investment, said Tuesday's market rise – which follows a 1.43 per cent fall on Monday – did not come as a surprise, given a handful of recent positive political indicators. These include an announcement by Egyptian judges that they would participate in supervising an upcoming constitutional referendum, and a planned visit to the US by President Morsi.

"Foreign investors are generally concerned with the state's foreign policy, and whether or not it's in line with the US," said Genena. "They're not particularly concerned with internal events."

He added that Morsi's scheduled 17 December visit to the US, two days before a scheduled IMF staff meeting, had definitely served to reassure foreign investors.

Foreign investors – both Arab and non-Arab – ended the day as net buyers, recording net inflows of almost LE9 million. Egyptian investors were net sellers, selling off some LE8.77 million worth of stock.

Of 172 listed stocks, 143 gained for the day while only 13 lost value.

Shares in blue chip Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) rose by some 3.86 per cent. Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) and Telecom Egypt, meanwhile, rose by 2.04 per cent and 1.16 per cent respectively.

Commercial International Bank (CIB) and National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), for their part, rose by 4.63 and 5.55 per cent respectively.

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