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Weekly Stock Review: Egypt benchmark ends losing streak

CAIRO: After falling to its lowest close in 45 months earlier in the week, the Egyptian market rose for three consecutive sessions as investors chased beaten-down shares on renewed hopes on Wall Street. Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE 30 index rebounded 4.27 percent this week to close at 4,043.73 points. On Sunday, the index ended an …


CAIRO: After falling to its lowest close in 45 months earlier in the week, the Egyptian market rose for three consecutive sessions as investors chased beaten-down shares on renewed hopes on Wall Street.

Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE 30 index rebounded 4.27 percent this week to close at 4,043.73 points.

On Sunday, the index ended an eight-session losing streak, with investors grabbing bargain prices on main Egyptian shares. The index slightly rose 0.73 percent to 3,906.25 points on a very weak turnover of LE 409.7 million ($74 million).

Shares in Orascom Telecom (OT) – down nearly 80 percent this year – gained 2.95 percent to LE 22.30.

Traders said a rally in the US stock market on Friday on reports that President-elect Barack Obama had picked Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary helped push the index higher.

Mobinil – Egypt’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers – rose 2.28 percent to LE 119 per share. Ezz Dekheila Steel gained 1.75 percent to last trade at LE 735.50.

Consumer goods constituents ended in the green, with shares of appliance maker Olympic Group (OG) jumping 9.2 percent to LE 21.27. GB Auto – Egypt’s largest automaker – advanced 3.2 percent to LE 17.04 per share, while Oriental Weavers (OW) gained 0.4 percent to LE 20.03.

Bucking the trend were shares of EFG-Hermes lost 0.8 percent to LE 14.39. Commercial International Bank (CIB) also fell 0.8 percent to LE 29.07.

The index quickly reversed trends on Monday, sliding 5.63 percent to 3,686.35 points on a weak turnover of LE 527 million ($95.2 million). Shares of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) plunged on Monday, pulling down the index to its lowest since February 2005.

Shares of OCI – Egypt s largest builder by market value – plummeted 13.6 percent to LE 103.02, their lowest in more than two years. Shares traded on the session’s highest turnover of LE 62.3 million.

The stock was the second-worst performer on the index in the past five sessions, falling 30 percent.

The company posted a third-quarter profit earlier this month that fell short of analysts forecasts. Reuters reported that investors were anticipating that future earnings could be hit by falling prices for fertilizers, a major component of OCI’s business.

Shares of CIB, Egypt’s largest listed lender, tumbled 11.9 percent to LE 25.61. Ezz Steel Rebars saw its shares dive 4.7 percent to LE 9.49, while El Sewedy Cables sank 8.5 percent to LE 55.18.

Shares of OT, the largest Arab mobile phone operator by subscribers, fell 4.62 percent to LE 21.49 pounds. Investment bank EFG-Hermes said it cut its short-term rating on the company to neutral from buy.

Olympic Group also closed in the red, slipping 5.97 percent to LE 20 per share. The company said its third-quarter profit fell 60 percent as it spent more on marketing and salaries.

Expectations of a stronger open on Wall Street helped Egyptian shares reverse earlier losses on Tuesday, with the index climbing 4.9 percent to 3,866.95 points on a weak turnover of LE 599.1 million ($108.5 million).

Shares of EFG-Hermes, Egypt s largest investment bank by market value, led gains after soaring 13.51 percent to LE 15.12 on a turnover of LE 56.3 million.

Washington s announcement late on Sunday that it would shoulder most losses on about $306 billion of banking giant Citigroup’s risky assets and inject new capital boosted world stocks by 6.6 percent on Monday. Market rallies in the United States and Asia extended on Tuesday after the US government stepped in to the rescue of Citigroup.

Shares of CIB leapt 3.67 percent to LE 28, while OT gained 6.44 percent to LE 23.30. Index heavyweight OCI also ended in the green, with its shares rising 2.9 percent to LE 116.11 on the session’s highest turnover worth LE 91.5 million.

Shares of El Sewedy Cables performed well, jumping 9.8 percent to LE 60.61. El Ezz Steel Rebars – Egypt’s largest steel maker – traded 3.8 percent higher to LE 9.85.

The market closed in the green for the second straight day on Wednesday as foreign investors continued to snatch blue chip shares at bargain prices. The index rose 2.89 percent to 3,978.67 points on a moderate turnover of LE 661.7 million ($119.8 million).

Shares in construction conglomerate OCI, the day s most heavily traded by value, soared 6.19 percent to LE 123.30, while sister company OT saw its shares gain 1.39 percent to LE 23.40.

The index rose Thursday 1.63 percent to 4,043.73 points as gains on Wall Street helped restore some confidence among most investors, signaling the Egyptian bourse remained enthralled by market movements in Europe and the United States.

But the launch of a new trading system led to many delays and outages, including a one-hour suspension of all dealing. Some of the data usually provided by the exchange was not available, Reuters said.

Shares of investment bank EFG-Hermes led gains, climbing 13.25 percent to LE 17.01.

Ezz Steel, which has fallen on expectations of lower demand for its products, gained 4.23 percent to LE 10.60, while OCI edged 1.73 percent higher to LE 124.51.

Topics: FJP

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