CAIRO: The market kicked off the year on a high note, extending gains from the last days of 2008 after cheap trading stocks sparked investor interest. However, the market quickly reversed trends, as big caps became the target of profit-taking after three days of strong gains.
Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE30 index moved up a sliver to end the week 0.82 percent higher at 4,634.36 points.
The index gained Sunday 2.48 percent to 4,710.38 points boosted by positive performance from both Orascoms. Trading turnover hit LE 539.9 million ($97.9 million).
Index heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) spurred investment appetite after it fell to cheap trading levels. The stock extended gains for the third straight trading day, advancing 3.66 percent to LE 145.50.
OCI posted the session’s highest turnover at LE 58.6 million. The firm s shares soared 16 percent since Dec. 26 till Sunday’s close.
Sister company Orascom Telecom (OT) also closed the day in the green, jumping 4.43 percent to LE 31.81 on a turnover of LE 38 million. Both stocks together constitute around 35 percent of trading on the CASE30 index.
OCI bought two million of its own shares between Dec. 28 and 31, while OT purchased 23.6 million of its shares in the same period, the stock exchange said in a statement. The OT purchase accounts for around 2.3 percent of all its shares. The OCI purchase is less than 1 percent of its equity.
Shares of Commercial International Bank (CIB) inched 1.88 percent higher to LE 37.90, and Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) rose 2.29 percent to LE 3.13.
The index advanced slowly on Monday, ending 0.44 percent higher at 4,731.28 points on a turnover of LE 672.9 million ($122.3 million) buoyed by small and medium caps firms.
Pioneers Holding was the second most active by turnover, surging 9.6 percent to LE 7.42. Pioneers had been barred from trading its own shares for three months starting Oct. 7, 2008.
Luxury residential developer Palm Hills Developments climbed 15.56 percent to LE 7.50 on large Arab inflows. The firm was seen as likely to buy some of Damac Properties land holdings in Egypt, however, Damac later denied this.
Shares of Remco for Touristic Villages Construction gained 6.14 percent to LE 6.40 -after jumping 14 percent on Sunday – as investors rushed in ahead of the firm s 6.5 million share buyback program, which begins on Jan. 10.
Big cap OCI dominated trade by turnover, but slipped a hair and ended 0.99 percent lower at LE144.51. Sister heavyweight OT leapt 11.6 percent to LE 31.81 on a turnover of LE 50.5 million.
The market fell Tuesday for the first time in 2009, hit by profit-taking on blue-chips. The index dipped 0.41 percent at 4,711.85 points on a moderate turnover of LE 702 million ($127.6 million).
Construction conglomerate OCI slid 1.8 percent to LE 143.02 while telecom giant OT lost 2.11 percent to LE 31.14.
Ezz Steel Rebars – Egypt s largest steel producer – hit the session’s highest turnover at LE73.1 million. The stock clambered 5.46 percent to LE 10.63. Investment bank EFG-Hermes cut its long-term fair value on Ezz Steel by LE 10 to LE 20, saying it sees a weak fourth quarter driven by lower capacity utilization and falling steel prices.
Profit-taking continued to take its toll on the market, dragging the index 60 points on Thursday. The CASE30 index tumbled 1.64 percent to 4,634.36 points on a turnover of LE 702 million.
Shares of OT – the biggest mover by turnover – slipped 3.39 percent to LE 30.46, while subsidiary company MobiNil lost 5.84 percent to LE 134.50, with profit-taking and position-shifting cited by traders as primary reasons for the move.
Egypt’s largest listed investment bank EFG-Hermes dropped 2.54 percent to LE 17.65 per share.