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Bourse picks up slightly ahead of protests

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Benchmark EGX 30 index inches back up after a two-week tumble, hinting at easing protest concerns

On the Nile stock exchange, the Mediterranean Company and Pioneers Holding ranked joint highest in total amounts of stock traded. (AFP Photo)

Two weeks ago, Egypt’s stock exchange fell to its lowest levels since December 2012 amid investor concerns over current political instability ahead of nationwide protests against President Mohamed Morsi, marking the end of his first year in office.
(AFP Photo)

The market closed up 0.24% on Tuesday in a gain bolstered by a wave of purchases by local investors, while foreign non-Arab investors were the main sellers.

The benchmark index, the EGX 30, which has been caught in a downward spiral for a month and has lost 17% since the beginning of the year, inched upwards to 4,534.18 points, while the EGX 70 index for small and medium sized companies was up 2.41 %.

“The transaction volume today was much better than the last two weeks, which represent the worst period in the Egyptian bourse,” said Eissa Fathy, deputy chairman of the Division of Securities Chamber of Commerce.

He continued: “Egyptians were net buyers, which has not taken place for a long time, indicating that their fear ahead of the planned30 June protests, may have started to decrease.”

Two weeks ago, Egypt’s stock exchange fell to its lowest levels since December 2012 amid investor concerns over current political instability ahead of nationwide protests against President Mohamed Morsi, marking the end of his first year in office.

The market also felt the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority’s (EFSA) decision to halt the trading of Orascom Construction Industries’ (OCI) shares pending the results of investigations into the tender offer submitted by the Dutch company OCI NV to buyout the Egyptian firm.

EFSA had received on 3 June the Dutch mother company’s offer in which interested investors in the Egyptian construction firm could trade in their shares for a stake in the purchaser, as well as a cash alternative of EGP 255 per share.

The stock exchange’s regulatory body also decided Tuesday to halt all transactions on Amer Group Company shares for 10 minutes until it received clarification on press reports claiming that the company had launched one of its investments, Porto Abu El-Rekrak, in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.

The stock market has announced that Monday 1 July will be an official holiday, as it marks the beginning of the fiscal year.

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Hend El-Behary

Hend El-Behary

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