Egypt's benchmark stock index rose to become the world's second-best performer as foreign investors returned after peaceful nation-wide protests on the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
Orascom Telecom Holding increased 9.8 per cent. EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, headed for the highest close in more than two months.
The benchmark EGX 30 Index jumped 6.9 per cent, the most since March 28 and the second-best among 91 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg after Cyprus, to 4,421.26 in Cairo.
The bourse suspended trading for 30 minutes after the EGX 100 Index rose five per cent.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 40.2 million Egyptian pounds ($6.7 million) in stocks, according to Egyptian Exchange data.
"Yesterday's protests were peaceful so they calmed fears by some investors leading up to the anniversary," said Tamer Nigm, head of sales and trading at Cairo-based Watheeqa Securities Brokerage. "We expect the rally to continue but for investors to be more selective, focusing more on blue chips with good fundamentals."
The yield on the 5.75 per cent dollar bonds due in April 2020 dropped three basis points to 6.93 per cent, the lowest level since November 24. The rate dropped 36 basis points yesterday, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. The pound was little changed at 6.0385 against the dollar.
The benchmark plunged 49 per cent last year, ranking it the third-worst performer among world equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg.
About 123 million shares exchanged hands, compared with a daily average of 61 million shares in the last six months.
Orascom Telecom, the Cairo-based mobile phone company, climbed for a fourth day to 3.36 pounds after a near two-month trading suspension to allow it to split its assets and as it draws closer to selling its Algerian unit.
EFG-Hermes increased 9.2 per cent to 11.65 pounds.
Focus on blue chips
- 9.8%: increase in shares of Orascom Telecom
- 6.9%: rise in Cairo's benchmark index