CAIRO: Egypt’s stock market closed out the year on a high note after an influx of foreign investors helped the index breach a key resistance level at 4,500 points.
Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE30 index rose 6.11 percent to end the week trading at 4,596.49 points. But the index posted a loss of 56.4 percent in 2008, its biggest annual fall as the market was shattered by the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The index was nearly flat on Sunday, dipping 0.15 percent at 4,351.39 points, with investors searching for remaining bargains before year-end. Trading turnover was extremely low at LE 277.4 million ($50.2 million), reflecting investors’ weak appetite on the market during the holidays.
Shares in Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt s largest listed builder, rose 0.21 percent to close the day at LE 126 as investors deemed the stock trading at cheap levels compared to a price target set at around LE 300.
Oriental Weavers, the world s biggest carpet maker, gained 0.71 percent to LE 22.80. The firm said on Sunday it would delay planned construction work on a new industrial complex from mid-2009 to the beginning of 2010 because of the global financial crisis.
Shares in Orascom Telecom (OT) remained unchanged at LE 28.50. EFG-Hermes, Egypt’s biggest invested bank, saw its shares inch 0.1 percent higher to LE 16.56, while Commercial International Bank (CIB) lost 0.7 percent to LE 34.75 per share.
The index reversed trends on Tuesday, gaining 3.13 percent up at 4,487.47 points on a surge in foreign buying. Trading volume improved to LE 610.5 million ($110.6 million).
OCI led gains, with its shares leaping 8.1 percent to LE 136.90. Traders explained that investors wanted to take advantage of the stock’s low price as well as a planned share buyback. OCI posted the session’s highest turnover at LE 156.8 million.
The company announced on Dec. 14 it planned to buy back up to 2 million of its share by Jan. 13, representing about 0.9 percent of the company s total stock.
Shares of index heavyweight OT increased 2.28 percent to LE 29.15, posting the session’s second highest turnover at LE 51.9 million.
Shares of EFG-Hermes climbed 4 percent to LE17.22, while CIB, Egypt’s largest listed lender, jumped 4.32 percent to LE 36.25.
The market rose on the last trading day of the year after a dismal 2008, clambering 2.43 percent at 4,596.49 points. Trading turnover ended at LE 669.7 million.
Shares of OCI surged 3.7 percent to LE 138.99, while sister company OT gained 1 percent to LE 29.70. Both stocks were hammered by the global financial turmoil for most of 2008.
OCI skidded 55.6 percent of its value in the year, while OT plunged 67.5 percent.
CIB managed to end the year in the green, advancing 2.66 percent to LE37.
Over 208, the stock plummeted 39.2 percent of its value.
Shares of EFG-Hermes slipped a hair by 0.06 percent to last trade at LE 17.21. The stock suffered significant hits in the wake of the global financial crisis, shedding 73.6 percent of its value.
El Ezz Steel Rebars, Egypt’s largest steel maker, closed in the red, sliding 2.3 percent to LE 9.78 per share. It lost 60.9 percent in 2008.