Egyptian stocks fell the most in almost three months on investor concern the third anniversary of the country’s uprising could spark further violence. Abu Dhabi’s index rose to the highest since 2008.
The benchmark EGX 30 Index dropped 2 percent, the most since Oct. 28, to 7,003.26 at the close in Cairo. About 517 million Egyptian pounds ($74 million) of stocks traded, or 1.4 times the market’s one-year daily average. Juhayna Food Industries, the country’s biggest maker of packaged milk, slumped the most since July.
Twenty-seven of the gauge’s shares fell as Islamists and seculars opposed to the military-backed government prepare to hold demonstrations Jan. 25, marking the anniversary of the start of the revolt against former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011. The EGX 30 had jumped 16 percent since the start of December in the run up to last week’s referendum on a new constitution, which was approved by 98 percent of voters.
“The market went up too much, too fast because of the rapid flow of political events leading up to the referendum last week,” Hassan Kenawi, equities trader at Cairo-based HC Brokerage, said by phone. “We expect a bit of consolidation until Jan. 25 before we resume gains if the anniversary passes peacefully.”
The shares of Giza, Egypt-based Juhayna Food fell 3.1 percent, the most since July 24, in twice the three-month daily average volume. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender, fell 1.3 percent to 32.61 pounds.
Abu Dhabi’s gauge, the world’s fourth-best performing index in 2013, rose to the highest in more than five years as investors bet on bank earnings. The ADX General Index gained for a third day, advancing 0.9 percent to 4,561.96, its highest close since August 2008. United Arab Bank rose more than 8 percent. First Gulf Bank PJSC, the United Arab Emirates’ third-biggest lender, rose as much as 2.6 percent on more than four times the three-month average daily volume.
“From earnings perspective you would expect banks to report good solid numbers going forward,” Amer Khan, the senior executive officer at Dubai-based Shuaa Capital PSC, said by phone from Dubai. “Investors are slowly but surely willing to pay a premium for the banks, and this is what we are seeing in Abu Dhabi specifically.”
United Arab Bank, an Abu Dhabi-based commercial lender, jumped 8.5 percent to 7 dirhams, its highest level since Nov. 20. Union National Bank PJSC advanced 1.1 percent to 6.27 dirhams, its highest close since August 2008.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC, the country’s second-largest Islamic lender, rose 2.1 percent to 6.71 dirhams, its highest level since September 2006. ADIB is expected to report a 32 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, according to the average estimate of three analysts, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC is forecast to post a 14 percent gain for the period, according to the average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Waha Capital PJSC, an Abu Dhabi-based investment company, was the top gainer of the day, rising more than 14 percent to a record 2.61 dirhams.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index dropped 0.2 percent at the close in Riyadh, led by losses in petrochemicals stocks. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals producer with the biggest weighting on the benchmark, dropped the most in almost three months after its quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates. Sabic, as the company is known, slumped 2.3 percent to 115 riyals, the most since Oct. 27, trimming the gain this year to 3.1 percent.
Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. dropped 5 percent, the steepest retreat since Aug. 27, and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemicals Co. lost 5.9 percent, the biggest drop since April 22. Sahara Petrochemical Co. advanced 5 percent after saying fourth-quarter profit rose to 178 million riyals ($47.5 million) compared with 64.5 million riyals a year earlier.
Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index added 0.2 percent. Kuwait shares advanced 0.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slipped 0.1 percent. Muscat’s gauge and Bahrain’s main measure were little changed.
In Israel, the TA-25 Index fell for a second day, slipping 0.5 percent at the close in Tel Aviv. The yield on the government’s debt maturing in March 2023 fell 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage points, to 3.55 percent.