Egypt stocks make slight gains on Orascom deal

Ahram Online, Sunday 20 Jan 2013

EGX30 registers 0.41 pct rise on news of proposed deal between Bill Gates-led group and Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries

Egyptian stocks rose only slightly on Sunday following an uneven week, despite experts' predictions that a proposed deal between a Bill Gates-led group and Egypt's OCI would fire the exchange.

Egypt's benchmark EGX30 index increased by a meagre 0.41 per cent to reach 5,684 points. The broader EGX70 index, meanwhile, saw a significant decline of 2.21 per cent.

Of 175 stocks traded, 136 suffered losses while only 15 registered gains. Blue-chip stocks Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and Commercial International Bank (CIB) drove the market upwards, rising by 1.89 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

A recent announcement by a Bill Gates-led group that it planned to buy a $1 billion stake in Orascom's new construction and fertiliser company, OCI NV, has promised to boost investor confidence.

Turnover reached a weak LE341 million on Sunday, one of the lowest daily rates since the 2011 uprising, reflecting traders' reluctance to invest in light of Egypt's volatile political situation.

This Friday, Egyptian opposition groups plan to stage massive rallies on the occasion of the revolution's second anniversary.

Egyptian investors were net sellers for the day, offloading almost LE57 million worth of shares, in line with trends seen last week. Arab and foreign investors, meanwhile, represented net buyers, picking up almost LE36 million and LE54 million in stocks respectively.

The real estate sector was the day's biggest loser, with Talaat Mostafa Group Holding (TMGH) and Palm Hills both sliding by 2.31 per cent and 2.77 per cent respectively.

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