Mobinil leads telecom surge, Egypt shares gain

Will Rasmussen
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Shares of Mobinil, Egypt s largest mobile firm, surged 20 percent on Monday, leading a telecom rally after a court ruling that Mobinil shares should be sold to France Telecom at a premium.

Mobinil shareholder Orascom Telecom said France Telecom would tender for the shares at LE 273.26 ($48.60) following the ruling of the arbitration court.

Shares in Mobinil, the brand name for the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (ECMS), hit a year high of LE 180.03 as investors anticipated the tender, said Karim Hosny, trader at Pharos Securities. Trade was quickly suspended.

Overall, Egypt s benchmark EGX 30 index rose 4.13 percent to 4,816.65 points, while the broader EGX 70 index gained 1.67 percent to 586.73.

Orascom shares also rose, gaining 5.46 percent to LE 30.33 as investors bet the firm would benefit from a sale of its stake in Mobinil. Trade in OT was also suspended early in the session.

They (OT) would be sitting on a lot of cash and their debt would be reduced so it would be financially beneficial in the short-term, Hosny said.

Orascom Telecom and France Telecom had taken a dispute over their joint shareholding in Mobinil to court in 2007.

Shares of Telecom Egypt, the largest Arab fixed-line phone company, jumped 13.26 percent to LE 17 as the court s valuation of Mobinil suggested a higher valuation of mobile companies in Egypt.

Telecom Egypt owns a 45 percent stake in Vodafone, one of three Egyptian mobile operators.

It showed people the value of the company, Hosny said.

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