CAIRO: Egyptian shares edged higher on Wednesday, driven by optimism about telecom firms and with investors also buying undervalued stocks, traders said. Telecom Egypt was among the day s best performers, gaining around 3 percent to close at LE 15.75 ($2.75) per share after officially concluding a deal to increase its stake in Vodafone Egypt to nearly 49 percent. They [the investors] probably believe that after Egypt Telecom has acquired 49 percent of Vodafone Egypt, the profitability of the company could improve, said Yasser Hassanein of Dynamic Securities. A research report by investment bank EFG-Hermes that raised its fair value estimate for Telecom Egypt by 4.7 percent to LE 19.9 also helped push the shares higher, one Cairo-based trader said. MobiNil, the country s second mobile operator, also rose by 1.8 percent to LE 157.5 per share. Shares in investment bank EFG-Hermes rebounded to close 3.4 percent higher at LE 39.6.
Traders said investors saw the stock, popular mainly among retail investors, as an attractive buy two days after dipping below the psychologically-important 40-pound level for the first time since August. The benchmark Hermes index rose 0.9 percent to close at 55,144.99 points, and the well-watched Case 30 index edged up 0.94 percent at 6,203.68 points. The broader CIBC-100 index fell 0.15 percent to 254.04 points.