CAIRO: Egyptian stocks piped slightly higher on Monday led by telecoms and real estate developer Talaat Moustafa, even as Gulf bourses slumped on banking and recession worries.
Talaat Moustafa gained 10.06 percent to LE 3.50 ($0.63) after hitting a year-low of LE 3.03 on Sunday, while the benchmark CASE 30 index climbed 1.23 percent to 4,620.31 points.
Overall, Egypt s widely watched Hermes index gained 0.92 percent to 415.54 points, and the broader CIBC index inched 0.28 percent higher. That was in contrast to Gulf indexes, which fell across the board on investor worries after Kuwait stepped in to save a local bank.
Talaat Moustafa, dogged by the ongoing murder trial of its former chairman, said on Sunday it expects net profit to grow at least 30 percent in 2008 on residential sales and announced net profit of LE 1.34 billion in the first nine months of 2008.
I think there was overselling yesterday in the market partly due to the lack of foreign participation, said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities.
Today you have seen some interest coming into the market. We don t expect a significant rally, he said, adding that he was expecting some stability in the market.
Telecom stocks were among the session s top gainers, with regional mobile operator Orascom Telecom rising 6.35 percent to LE 29.97. Cellphone operator Nokia has signed up OT as a customer for its Internet services, the firms said in a joint statement.
Shares in fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt gained 10.94 percent to LE 13.59, while Mobinil surged 9.95 percent to LE 110.
Basically, there were some foreign investors buying. The prices were so low. They have become ridiculously low, said Tarek Foda of Beltone.
Non-Arab foreign investors were net buyers to the tune of nearly LE 40 million, while non-Egyptian Arabs were net sellers. Egyptian investors were also net buyers, according to stock exchange data.
Shares in Orascom Construction Industries, however, continued to decline after hitting a year low on Sunday. The firm, the session s most heavily traded share by turnover, ended 0.65 percent down at LE 198.99.
Investment bank EFG-Hermes also continued to drop, losing 3.53 percent to LE 20.25 while Commercial International Bank fell 1.85 percent to LE 27.