Egypt up; rebounds from global panic effect

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CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark share index jumped 3 percent after three days of sharp declines that took shares to their lowest since April 2009.

Share trading was halted on the Egyptian Exchange on Tuesday after the index tumbled 5 percent, tracking US and European markets lower on fears for the global economy.

"The gain is all a rebound from the drastic fall, simply a correction, especially that Egypt was one of the most to fall in the region," said Omar Darwish, a trader at CIBC Brokerage.

"We will see leaps in finance and real estate stocks that were suspended."

Egypt’s biggest-listed developer, Talaat Moustafa, which reported a 44 percent decline in its first-half net profit on Wednesday, gained 4.9 percent, after falling 4.5 percent on Tuesday.

Investment bank EFG-Hermes gained 4.6 percent while financial service firm Pioneers Holding added 4.9 percent.

Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s biggest private bank by assets, rose 1.6 percent and is the bourse’s most traded stock with over LE 17.8 million ($3 million)worth of its shares changing hands.

The EGX30 was at 4,611 points with all its 30 constituents rising.

Both the UAE and Qatar’s bourses halted losses, helped by gains in global shares after the US Federal Reserve made a pledge to keep interest rates near zero for at least two years.

Sentiment was lifted across the Gulf with most markets making decent gains.

Dubai’s benchmark ended 1.2 percent higher at 1,461 points, rebounding from Tuesday’s five-month low. It lost 100 points in the last three day as markets region-wide plunged on concerns the US is heading back into recession, worsened by the country’s credit rating downgrade.

The emirate’s bellwether Emaar Properties gained 1.5 percent, Arabtec ended 3.1 percent up,

"We have seen a strong correlation in both ways with international markets but the consequences of all this mess should be less important here than in Europe or US," said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s index closed 1 percent higher at 2,603 points.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) jumped 4.3 percent, after rising as much as 7 percent earlier in the session following its report that second quarter net profit nearly triples, beating analysts’ forecasts.

The firm’s earnings jumped to 435 million dirhams up from 171 million dirhams in the same period last year.

"There is strength across the region in names that were hammered in the last few days. It’s too early to come back aggressively in the market, except for stock picking," said Henin.

Certain telecoms names and petrochemical companies are looking attractive at current levels, he added.

In Qatar, the measure rose from a five month low, gaining 0.7 percent to end at 8,128 points. Gainers outnumber losers 15 to two.

Barwa Real Estate gained 2.5 percent, Masraf Al Rayan rose 1.8 percent.

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By Reuters
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