Egypt lower in year-end lull; real estate up

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Egypt’s main index inches lower by mid-session in slow holiday trading as investors wrap up their year-end portfolios, traders say.

The main index is down 0.2 percent at 6,935 points.

"We are seeing lower volumes the closer we get to the end of the year," says Mohamed Darwish of CIBC Brokerage. "[Investors] want to finish up and wrap up the year with a certain portfolio, certain percentage."

"No one wants to take risks over the last two weeks of the year basically," says Darwish.

Volume on market heavyweight Orascom Telecom was less than a third of its daily average over the past 20 sessions within two hours of the end of trading.

Real estate stocks are the main gainers, buoyed by positive investor sentiment for the sector’s earnings in 2011, traders say. SODIC is up 0.7 percent and Talaat Moustafa gains 0.5 percent.

"We think that real estate in 2011 is going to outperform," says Darwish. "A lot of earnings were pressured this year either because of extraordinary transactions or loans."

"Earnings are recognized when the [units] are actually sold. I think we will be seeing a lot of that in 2011."

Orascom Telecom sheds 0.5 percent. Commercial International Bank is down 0.2 percent.


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