Ezz Steel pulls Egypt index higher

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Shares in Egypt’s largest steel producer Ezz Steel posted their biggest single day gain in nearly five months, boosted by market speculation the firm may soon bid for a new production license in Egypt.

Ezz Steel rose 3.5 percent, its fourth session of gains in a row, to LE 20.25 per share, its highest price since May 19.

"News that Ezz Steel will bid for the new production license is positive as they have a big chunk of the market share, and a new licence will keep it in control of the market," said Ashraf Akhnoukh, senior equity sales trader, CIBC Brokerage.

Egypt’s benchmark index gained 1.1 percent, trading at 6,900 points, its highest level since May 13. Traders said the index is approaching the 7,000 resistance level ahead of third-quarter earnings.

Commercial International Bank (CIB) advanced 1.4 percent on optimism over its third-quarter earnings and expectations of lower US interest rates that could boost profits of emerging market lenders, traders add.

Shares in index heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT) bucked the trend and dipped 0.2 percent, after rising as much as 0.5 percent during intraday trade.

"Everyone lost interest in OT because there’s no more significant news, so no catalyst is moving the stock. Basically no one will be a millionaire in no time holding the (stock)," Akhnoukh added.

The head of Norwegian telecoms group Telenor cast doubt on Russian partner Vimpelcom’s $6.6 billion acquisition of Egyptian peer Orascom, saying it was not a done deal.



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