Egyptian stocks uneven ahead of anti-government rally
Egypt's stock exchange gave an uneven performance on Tuesday in the lead-up to Friday's planned anti-government demonstrations.
The main EGX30 index gained 0.7 per cent to close at 5,680 points. The index has risen some 4 per cent since the beginning of 2013.
The broader-based EGX70 index, meanwhile, gained a healthy 2.77 per cent.
The market has fluctuated in recent weeks in anticipation of what some observers fear could turn into another wave of violence this weekend. A number of opposition groups have called for massive rallies on the occasion of the Egyptian revolution's second anniversary.
Moreover, a final court ruling on individuals implicated in last year's Port Said stadium disaster is slated for Saturday. The Ultras football fan club, which has led a campaign in recent weeks under the slogan 'Retribution or chaos,' is demanding that the court deliver guilty verdicts.
Tuesday's trade volume stood at a weak LE382 million (roughly $59 million), with 136 shares gaining in value and 14 declining.
The real estate sector led the market, rising by 2.95 per cent. Egypt's second largest real estate developer, Palm Hills Development (PHD), rose a solid 2.5 per cent and saw LE36 million in turnover. PHD, the founders of which were closely linked to Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, has recently been dogged by legal trouble concerning its land bank.
Orascom Construction Industries, the market's largest company, dropped 0.23 per cent to sit at LE268.8 per share. On Saturday, the company revealed plans to end its Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) programme on the London Stock Exchange, relocate from Cairo to Amsterdam and list its shares on the NYSE Euronext exchange.
Non-Arab foreign investors accounted for 27 per cent of the day's trade volume and were the main net buyers at LE28 million. Egyptian investors, meanwhile, net sold to the tune of LE26 million.