Egypt market report: large caps stabilize
The Hermes benchmark index continued its prolonged fall on last Tuesday, closing 0.53 percent down at 7810.14.
However, the narrower, blue chip EFG index rose 0.5 percent to close at 3581.15 as some of Egypt's large cap companies made a slight recovery. Tuesday's total turnover was EL90.6 million (US$25.7 million), though around a quarter of this was bond trading.
MobiNil recovered by nearly 2 percent after a week of losses: it closed at
EL81.74 on volume of EL18 million (US$5.2 million), the day's second highest volume. MobiNil fell early in the session to EL78, but recovered on strong buying later in the day - it may find support at around EL80.
The day's busiest stock was Media Production City (MPC), which fell nearly 5 percent on turnover of EL26.6 million. Investors may be pulling out of speculative stocks - little is known of MPC's activities or finances - in favor of more solid companies.
Commercial International Bank (CIB), perceived as one of the Bourse's strongest stocks, rose 0.58 percent yesterday, ending a recent fall from EL36 (US$10.3).
Shares in Lakah Group rose 4.5 percent in Cairo on Wednesday following the return of businessman Ramy Lakah from Europe: the stock fell dramatically in August on rumors that Lakah had fled Egypt to escape debts of close to EL1.5 billion (US$420 million).
Lakah's global depository receipts (GDRs) in London fared even better on Tuesday, rising 19.2 percent to US$1.40.
Other Egyptian GDRs were mixed: CIB, Misr International Bank (MIBank) and Suez Cement were all gainers, but PACHIN remained steady, and Orascom Telecom fell nearly 2 percent to US$6.80.
The day's top gainer was Kaomia (National) Cement, which rose 5 percent to £E 11.89 on an announcement from the Public Enterprise office that the company will be sold 'soon'.
Although Prime Minister Atef Ebeid said in March this year that no more cement producers would be sold for the next two years, a shortage of cash may have forced the government's hand.
Kaomia is one of Egypt's more inefficient producers, but a strategic investor may choose to buy and modernize the company. Other cement producers fared well on Tuesday, with Suez Cement and Helwan Cement both among the top five gainers.
The median overnight interbank rate rose slightly on Tuesday, against form. Interbank rates tend to be highest on Sunday, and lowest on Thursday. The rise may be a one-off, though it could suggest that banker's are worried about the supply of Egyptian pounds. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)