Egypt’s benchmark stock index climbed to the highest level since before the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 on speculation political stability will spur economic growth. Israeli stocks snapped a five-day advance.
The EGX 30 Index rose 0.9 percent to 5,986.8, the highest close since Jan. 26, 2011, as about 468 million Egyptian pounds ($68 million) of shares traded, compared with a one-year daily average of 340 million pounds. Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding SAE jumped the most in a month, while Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE contributed the most to the index’s gain. Israel’s TA-25 Index fell 0.6 percent.
The gauge has rallied 26 percent in the second half of the year after the military ousted President Mohamed Mursi. The bourse closed for almost two months in 2011 as a popular uprising forced Mubarak out of power. The current government is overseeing constitutional amendments that should lead to parliamentary elections in the first quarter of 2014. The economy may grow 2.1 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2014, according to the median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
“The situation now is better than at the end of 2011 and when Mursi left in July,” said Hisham Metwalli, a trader at Cairo’s Arab Finance Brokerage. “Investors believe the index deserves to break the 6,000 point level.”
Orascom Telecom Media gained 3.3 percent to 0.63 Egyptian pounds and Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender, rose 1.1 percent to 40.07 pounds. The bourse will follow most other exchanges in the Middle East and close from tomorrow for the rest of the week for the Eid religious holiday.
Oman’s MSM 30 Index (MSM30) increased 0.3 percent, while Bahrain’s measure lost 0.2 percent. Markets in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are closed this week, Oman’s bourse is shut from tomorrow, while Bahrain’s will close after tomorrow’s trading session.
Israel’s benchmark index slid to 1,285.16, led by Israel Corp., the holding company controlled by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, and Gazit-Globe Ltd. The gauge climbed every day last week, adding 2.8 percent.
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