The market fluctuated last week in low volume trade and low volatility, as interest was waning ahead of year-end holidays. Brokers explained selling pressure was common this time of the year as investors balance their accounts, expecting thin trade to the end of the year.
Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE30 index shed 2.14 percent to close the week at 4,357.96 points.
The index opened the week in the red, slipping 2.87 percent to 4,325.77 points, as investors took profits on most blue-chips. Trading turnover was very low at LE 352.4 million ($64.1 million), reflecting weak investor appetite.
Selling pressure tolled on El Sewedy Cables, Egypt’s largest cable manufacturer, pushing it 6.85 percent down to LE 71.53. Shares of Egypt’s biggest mobile phone operator MobiNil plunged 7.42 percent to LE 132.06 after the market shrugged off news that the firm declared a cash dividend of LE 3.62 per share.
Banking constituents were also out of favor, as Commercial International Bank (CIB) fell 2.5 percent to LE 33.44 per share, while EFG-Hermes dipped 1.9 percent to LE 18.43.
Index heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT) also edged lower after recent gains, down 3.09 percent to LE 27.63. Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) lost 2.6 percent to LE 125.04 per share.
The index rose a hair on Monday, moving 0.59 percent higher at 4,351.38 points in pre-holiday trading. Trading volume was still weak at LE 447.4 million ($81.1 million).
CIB shares inched 2.42 percent higher to LE 34.25, while EFG-Hermes saw its shares fall 1.9 percent to LE 18.08.
Shares of construction conglomerate OCI were almost flat at LE 125, while OT dipped 0.88 percent to LE 27.05.
El Sewedy Cables gained 3.8 percent to LE 74.04 per share. El Ezz Steel Rebars advanced 0.5 percent to LE 10.35.
Shares in Telecom Egypt (TE) – Egypt’s only fixed-line operator – nudged 1.74 percent higher LE15.23. The Egyptian government said on Monday it would probably delay offering a second tranche of shares in the company.
Egypt Kuwait Holdings saw its dollar-denominated shares dive 2.26 percent to $1.30. Company owner Al Kharafi Group of Kuwait said on Monday it would pour $3 billion of investments in Egypt in 2009.
The index slipped again on Tuesday 0.62 percent to 4,324.27 points in low volume of LE424 million ($77 million), with brokers forecasting interest would not resume until after the winter holidays.
Egypt’s giant property developer Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) posted the day’s highest turnover, shedding 4.76 percent to LE 3 per share. Shares of EFG Hermes also closed in the red, plummeting 7.36 percent to LE 16.98.
Bucking the trend were shares of market mainstay OCI, which gained 0.21 percent to LE 125.51. Shares of CIB also rose a sliver to close the day 0.1 percent higher at LE34.06.
The index was almost flat on Wednesday, gaining only 0.18 percent to 4,331.88 points in low volume trading, as investor interest was fading ahead of year-end holidays.
Blue-chips ended on a mixed note. Shares of CIB clambered 1.2 percent to LE 34.44, whereas EFG-Hermes sank 4.8 percent to LE16.90.
Shares of OT, the day’s biggest mover by turnover, climbed 3.46 percent to LE 28.39 after Fitch raised its rating on the firm’s subsidiary Tunisiana. Shares of sister company OCI edged 0.1 percent higher to LE 125.73.
Ezz Steel Rebars – Egypt’s largest steel maker – saw its shares fall 0.8 percent to LE 10.02. El Sewedy Cables also closed in the red, sliding 1.7 percent to LE 72.47 per share.
Shares in housing developer Sixth of October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) shed 2.53 percent to LE 40.51. On Tuesday the firm said it expects demand for upper-income level housing to remain robust despite the global economic crisis.
The index rose slightly on Thursday for the second day in a row, closing 0.60 percent higher at 4,357.96 points a few days ahead of year-end holidays. Trading turnover flared up to LE 728 million.
Shares of big cap OT rose 0.78 percent to LE 28.25, while CIB jumped 1.19 percent to LE 34.85.
EFG-Hermes skidded 4.38 percent to LE 16.16 per share. Shares of OCI lost 1.36 percent to LE 124.02, while TE lost 2.37 percent to LE 14.80.