Egyptian stocks climbed the most in more than five months after President Mohamed Mursi revoked a decree that had expanded his powers and sparked the worst unrest since his election in June.
Orascom Construction Industries (OCIC), Egypt’s largest publicly traded company, jumped the most since June. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI), the biggest publicly traded lender, rose 5.9 percent. The EGX 30 (EGX30) climbed 4.4 percent, the most since July 2, to 5,051.96 at the close in Cairo. About 77 million shares were traded today, compared with a 12-month daily average of 129 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The gains are indicative of a possible breakthrough,” said Ahmed Sarhan, a trader at Cairo-based Dynamic Securities Brokerage. “But there’s no indication that it’s sustainable because the opposition is holding firm and there’s an escalation in rhetoric from the Islamists, which raises the possibility of more violence ahead.”
All stocks except one on the benchmark index climbed after the reversal of the decree, which had shielded Mursi’s decisions from judicial oversight. The announcement, made yesterday by Islamist politician Mohamed Salim El Awa, came as opposition supporters began a third week of rallies outside the presidential palace to protest a draft constitution, which they say favors Islamists.
Thirty-day volatility, a measure of price swings, rose in nine out of the last 12 days to 45 today, compared with nine for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Mursi rejected his opponents’ demands to delay a Dec. 15 referendum on the constitution, prompting them to press ahead with planned marches today to the main presidential palace in Cairo. Eight people were killed and more than 700 people were injured when pro- and anti-Mursi demonstrators clashed outside the compound last week, according to the Health Ministry.
If the constitution is rejected, a new committee would be seated within three months to draft a charter, according to yesterday’s presidential statement.
“It is still unclear if this rally would last, especially since the opposition has already raised the ceiling of demands and Mursi is still insisting on the Dec. 15 referendum,” said Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities.
Orascom Construction Industries surged 5.2 percent to 235.03 Egyptian pounds. Commercial International Bank gained the most since July 2 to 34.45 pounds.
In the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait’s gauge rose 0.5 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) gained 0.6 percent and Oman’s MSM30 Index (MSM30) climbed 0.4 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) of the biggest companies in the GCC advanced 0.2 percent. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) fell 0.1 percent. Bahrain’s measure was little changed and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) increased 0.1 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index added 0.2 percent.
Israel’s TA-25 Index (TA-25) rose 0.5 percent. The yield on the benchmark 5.5 percent bonds due 2022 fell one basis point to 3.78 percent.
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