CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark index closed up 2.1 percent after a surge by mobile operator Mobinil on revived optimism that a deal for France Telecom to buy most of its shares will proceed, traders said.
Orascom Telecom Media and Technology has tentatively agreed to sell most of its stake in Mobinil to fellow shareholder France Telecom.
Some investors were concerned following statements by Egypt’s communication minister that mobile telecom operators would be required to give a minimum 20 percent of their shares to Egyptians. But a ministry official said later that the new rules would apply only to new operators.
“The talks are advancing, but we are still in negotiations,” said a France Telecom spokesman in Paris.
Mobinil shares rose 9.9 percent and OTMT 9.6 percent
“The news have lifted the telecom sector … There has been so much confusion yesterday,” said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities.
The index closed at 4,652 points, ending six days of losses.
Among blue-chips, Ezz Steel rose 7 percent, Orascom Telecom 5.5 percent and Talaat Mostafa 3.3 percent.
Traders said investors took confidence from the index’s rise above 4,600 points, seen by technical analysts as a resistance point.
“Fresh money started to enter the market,” said Mohamed Kotb of Naeem Brokerage. “This is a strong reaction to the overselling in the market lately plus Saudi Arabia and European markets performed well in the second part of the session today.”