Egyptian shares climbed to the highest in almost three weeks on investor bets the steepest monthly drop since November was overdone even as the government faces nationwide protests.
Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the nation’s largest publicly traded lender, jumped 3.8 percent and Orascom Telecom Holding rose the most in a month. The EGX 30 Index advanced 1.4 percent to 4,752.22, the strongest close since June 11 and trimming this month’s retreat to 13 percent. About 45 million shares traded compared with a one-year daily average of almost 124 million.
This month’s drop left members of Egypt’s index trading at 1.1 times net assets compared with 1.4 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Shares fell in the run up to protests today against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, whose opponents say has monopolized power and failed to revive the economy. The army deployed last week amid clashes between pro- and anti-government crowds that killed eight and injured hundreds.
“Current prices already reflect the discounting of political risk, which is limiting losses and helping investors find selective opportunities,” Mohsen Adel, fund manager at Cairo-based Pioneers Holding, said by phone. “Investor appetite will remain low until there’s more clarity on whether the protests today remain peaceful or take a violent turn.”
Mursi, who marks one-year in office today as the country’s first freely-elected president, has rejected the opposition’s demands for an early presidential vote. Tens of thousands of his supporters have put together their own rally in Cairo, raising concern of possible clashes with opponents. The grassroots Tamarud, or Rebel, movement said it collected 22 million signatures in a campaign to force an early election, a claim dismissed by Mursi’s backers.
The EGX 30 Index on June 12 entered a so-called bear market after tumbling 23 percent from a peak in September. MSCI Inc. this month said it may review Egypt’s 12 year-old emerging-market status for a possible downgrade should the nation’s currency shortage worsen.
The country’s stock exchange will be closed tomorrow for a holiday. Commercial International Bank gained the most since June 11 to 29.87 Egyptian pounds. Orascom Telecom climbed 4.3 percent, the most since May 28, to 3.92 pounds.
In the Gulf Cooperation Council, Kuwait’s SE Price Index (KWSEIDX) tumbled 1.8 percent, the most since June 2, trimming gains for the quarter to 16 percent. The measure was the fourth-best performer in the past three months among more than 90 benchmarks tracked globally by Bloomberg.
“Many found the price levels to be opportune for some profit taking,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Kuwait-based Global Investment House KSCC. Summer vacations as well as Ramadan are approaching and political instability has also led to a reduction in the number of transactions and trading values, he said.
The value of shares traded declined to 30 million dinars ($106 million) compared with a daily average of about 42.8 million dinars in the past year.
Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index advanced 0.3 percent today, pushing the surge for the year to 35 percent, the third-best performer in the period after gauges in Ghana and Dubai. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) closed little changed at 2,222.57.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.1 percent, Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.3 percent and Bahrain’s measure declined less than 0.1 percent. In Oman, Muscat’s MSM 30 Index (MSM30) rose less than 0.1 percent.
Sharqiyah Desalination Co. more than tripled on its first trading day in Muscat, advancing 203 percent to 3.216 rials. The company develops, constructs, operates and maintains water desalination plants.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index advanced less than 0.1 percent to 1,190.5. The yield on the government’s benchmark 4.25 percent bonds maturing March 2023 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.79 percent. The yield is up five basis points this month.
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