March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Orascom Telecom Holding SAE climbed to the highest level in almost two years as investors bet Algeria may be close to completing acquisition of the company’s Djezzy unit.
Shares of the North Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company surged 5.5 percent to 4.39 Egyptian pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, the highest level since April 2010. The benchmark EGX 30 Index advanced 0.4 percent.
“People are speculating Djezzy will be valued at around $6 billion as was leaked a few months ago and as the process nears completion,” said Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities. “The overhang will remain whether the government agrees to pay that much.”
The valuation of Djezzy, Orascom Telecom Holding’s biggest revenue generator, is expected to be completed by the end of this month, Reuters reported yesterday, citing Algeria’s Telecommunications Minister Moussa Benhamadi. Orascom Telecom said it had “no material developments” to report after the stock market suspended the shares from trading.
Orascom Telecom founder Naguib Sawiris said in January he expected Algeria to make a “fair offer” for Djezzy. Algeria and Vimpelcom Ltd., which bought 51.7 percent of Orascom Telecom last year, signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 9 for the government to conduct the due diligence.
Orascom Telecom shares have climbed 154 percent this year, leading gains on the benchmark measure, which gained 51 percent over the same period. Algeria’s government has been locked in an ownership dispute with Orascom over Djezzy since 2010.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at email@example.com