EFG Hermes pushes Egyptian market up after trades cancelled

Ahram Online, Thursday 9 Jan 2014

EGX30 gains 1.27 percent after buyback program following allegations of insider trading

Egyptian stocks soared as EFG-Hermes Holding SAE shares jumped by 10 percent to LE9.79 after trading resumed following the cancellation of its Wednesday's transactions over allegations of insider trading.

EFG, one of the leading investment banks in the Middle East, announced it has approved a plan for a massive buyback program that will aim at returning LE1 billion ($143 million) to the Company’s shareholders during the first 9 months of 2014.

"The buyback of almost 6.5 percent of EFG shares at some 20 percent higher than its latest price had a very positive impact on the whole market since EFG Hermes is very influential as the company is a broker, asset management and an investment bank," Ashraf Abdel-Aziz, head of institutional sales at the Cairo-based Arabia Online told Ahram Online.

The main index EGX30 gained 1.27 percent to 6975.04 points on Thursday. Daily turnover was at LE757 million. The broader index EGX70 gained 0.63 percent.

The bourse cancelled Wednesday's EFG trades and some from Thursday, which had its opening price set back to the 6 January closing three days earlier of LE8.9.

"After the announcement of the buyback, the bourse has suspected an information leak or insider trading as the stock's gains Wednesday were too high," Abdel-Aziz said.

The first phase of the buyback program will take place immediately and will aim at returning LE425 million through a buy-back of 6.44% of the EFG Hermes current outstanding shares at a price of LE11.5 per share.

"The second phase of the buyback program worth LE575 million is expected to take place during late second to third quarter 2014, however its execution will depend on a number of factors," the company said.

The start of the offer period and its duration will be subject to the approval of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) and the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

Several companies gained for the day including Pioneers Holding, Amer Group Holding, Commercial International Bank (Egypt), Ezz steel,Telecom Egypt and Palm Hills and Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC).

Egyptian and Arab investors ended the day as net sellers while foreigners were net buyers.

Out of 184 traded stocks over the day, 122 gained in value while 48 declined.

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