Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Egypt stocks make slight improvement

By Sherine El Madany, Daily News [Egypt], First Published: December 5, 2008

The stock market zigzagged throughout the week to post a mix of green and red, mirroring performance of regional and global markets.

Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE30 index inched up a hair, closing the week 0.38 percent higher to 4,059.08 points.

The market jumped Sunday on a fourth consecutive day of gains, tracking a rally in Gulf markets triggered by shares selling on attractive levels. The index climbed 4 percent to 4,205.86 points on a very low turnover of LE493.2 million ($89.28 million).

Shares in Ezz Steel, which has fallen 70 percent since May on expectations of lower demand for its products, led gains, soaring 8.09 percent to LE 11.36.

Investment bank EFG-Hermes, which has lost roughly 75 percent of its value this year, saw its shares gain 4.36 percent to LE 17.01.

Most Gulf Arab bourses also rose on Sunday as a global stock rally and moves by the region's governments and companies to limit the impact of the global crisis boosted investor confidence.

Shares in index heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) advanced 3.42 percent to LE 128.96, while regional mobile operator Orascom Telecom (OT) rose 5.36 percent to LE 25.16.

Shares in oil support company Maridive & Oil Services jumped 15.35 percent to $2.33.

The market reversed its four-day rally on Monday, struck by a wave of profit taking in blue-chips. The index tumbled 4.36 percent to 4,022.58 points on a turnover of LE 639 million ($115.8 million).

Shares in OT skidded 7.35 percent to LE 23.70, while OCI shed 6.34 percent to LE 121.90. Both stocks together hold almost 50 percent weight of trading on the index.

Shares in Egypt’s largest listed investment bank EFG-Hermes also closed in the red, plunging 11.91 percent to LE 15.60.

Ezz Steel dipped 4.85 percent to LE 11.18, while Sixth of October Development & Investment (SODIC) lost 5.4 percent to LE 42.83 per share.

Tourism company and large landowner Egyptian Resorts retreated 5.1 percent to LE 1.86. The firm said on Monday its net profit in the nine months to end-September rose 37 percent.

The index extended losses on Tuesday, moving in line with global markets.

It shed 2.11 percent to 3,939.66 points on a low turnover of LE462.7 million ($83.8 million).

Shares in OCI, Egypt’s largest builder by market value, took the heaviest toll on the index, last trading 4.18 percent down at LE119.40 on a turnover of LE54.9 million.

Sister company OT followed suit, slipping 3.4 percent to LE23.02 on a turnover of LE38.8 million.

Traders explained that global market woes weighed on the bourse on Tuesday, hammering most Egyptian shares.

Shares of SODIC fell 3.04 percent to LE 41.53, while Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), Egypt’s largest real estate developer by market value, fell 0.32 percent to LE 3.10.

Ezz Steel Rebars, Egypt’s largest steel producer by sales, saw its shares sink 1.3 percent to LE 11.11.

But some investors stepped in to take advantage of declining prices later in the day, helping the index pare some early session losses.

Shares in investment bank EFG-Hermes leapt 5.92 percent to LE 17, while Commercial International Bank (CIB) gained 2.7 to LE 29.70.

MobiNil saw its shares surge 7.76 percent to LE 125 after the company said this week it captured 20 million subscribers, making it Egypt’s largest mobile phone operator by subscribers.

The market snapped its two-day losing streak on Wednesday, boosted by gains in Ezz Steel. The index climbed 1.07 percent to 3,979.71 points, on a low turnover of LE 531.3 million ($96.1 million).

Ezz Steel, which posted gains for sixth consecutive sessions, rose 3.33 percent to LE 11.48. Investors rushed for the company’s dividend after it announced it would pay a LE2 dividend to shareholders on Dec. 15. Shares of the firm have jumped 13 percent in the five sessions to Tuesday.

Shares in big cap OT clambered 2.3 percent to close to LE23.54 on a turnover of LE29.4 million. MobiNil extended its green performance, gaining 2.8 percent to LE 119.50 per share.

Other big caps performed well, with EFG-Hermes soaring 2.5 percent to LE 16.24 on a relatively high turnover of LE 55.5 million. Shares of Egypt’s largest listed bank CIB advanced 2 percent to LE 29.44.

Shares of Maridive & Oil Services rose 3 percent to $2.40 after the company posted a 31 percent rise in its nine-month net profit. The stock hit as high as $2.79 during the session and was suspended temporarily for moving more than 10 percent.

Maridive said it won contracts this year at higher prices than last year. It sold shares to the public earlier this year.

The market followed European shares higher on Thursday ahead of a long Muslim holiday, with the index gaining 1.99 percent to 4,059.08 points.

Shares in MobiNil led gains, soaring 13 percent to LE 136. Other telecom shares followed suit to lead the market up. OT — MobiNil stakeholder — climbed 6.24 percent to LE 25.01 per share, and fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt surged 8.33 percent to LE 16.