CAIRO: Strong local interest in small and medium caps firms kept the Egyptian stock market afloat on Monday as big caps became the target of profit-taking after three days of strong gains, traders said.
Blue chips were kind of slow. We saw some profit-taking, while small caps were leading the rises today, said Ahmed Abu Taleb from Pharos Securities.
The benchmark CASE 30 index ended 0.44 percent higher at 4,731.28 points, while the rival Hermes index edged up 0.96 percent to 440.50 points. The broader CIBC index gained 1.81 percent to 298.7 points.
Orascom Construction again dominated trade by turnover, but hovered near Sunday s closing price and ended 0.99 percent lower at LE 144.51 ($26.26). The firm s shares had previously risen 16 percent since Dec. 26.
Most of the trading was by local individuals with a retail trading mindset, said Ali Salah at HC Securities. They are looking for the new opportunities.
Pharos s Abu Taleb cited three smaller firms that traded in large volumes and injected positive sentiment into the broader market.
Pioneers Holding was the second most active by turnover, gaining 9.6 percent to LE 7.42. Pioneers had been barred from trading its own shares for three months from Oct. 7.
Palm Hills Developments, which specializes in luxury residential developments, surged 15.56 percent to LE 7.50 on large Arab inflows. The firm is seen as likely to buy some of Damac Properties land holdings in Egypt, Abu Taleb said.
Remco for Touristic Villages Construction shares gained 6.14 percent to LE 6.40 – after jumping 14 percent on Sunday – as investors piled in ahead of the firm s 6.5 million share buyback program, which begins on Jan. 10.