CAIRO: Egypt s main stock index climbed 1.31 percent on Thursday led by gains in Orascom Telecom, despite institutional profit-taking that set in late in the session, dealers said.
Shares in Orascom Telecom, which reported a 7 percent rise in 2008 net profit on Monday after excluding exceptional gains from 2007, added 1.13 percent to LE 24.10 ($4.28).
The benchmark EGX 30 index ended at 3,965.80 points, while the rival Hermes index added 1.27 percent to 373.96 points. The broader EGX 70 index was close to flat at 471.53 points.
The market was up but there was some selling pressure at the end of the session. There was some profit-taking going on, which is normal, said Hashem Ghoneim of Pyramids Capital.
Shares in real estate developer Palm Hills, which trebled its 2008 net profit, surged 10.64 percent to LE 9.46, while fellow developer Talaat Moustafa Group added 0.96 percent to LE 3.15.
Shares in heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt s largest listed builder, dipped 1.49 percent to LE 136. OCI said on Wednesday it was awarded a $258 million contract to build a thermal-powered power plant near the northern coastal city of Alexandria.
I think it is just profit-taking, said Amr Saber, a trader at Prime Securities. Ghoneim said the market was also pleased to see OCI was getting a new contract.
Shares in Sixth of October Development and Investment (SODIC) also fell after the firm posted a 90 percent drop in consolidated net profit. The shares ended 3.53 percent down at LE 32.80.