Egypt’s bourse yesterday surged to a five-week high on the first day of trading since the country’s first democratically-elected president took office, while Gulf markets were mixed in muted trade as euphoria from last week’s eurozone debt deal waned.
Cairo’s index jumped 5% to close at its highest level since May 24.
“It is optimism over the election and about how smoothly the process went over the last few days” said Mohamed Kotb of Naeem Brokerage. “Investors see a president has been elected and are anticipating a new government that finally will deal with the country’s problems, putting the economy as a priority.”
Blue-chips jumped, particularly real estate companies, with Palm Hills up 8.9%, Talaat Moustafa gaining 9.8% and Amer Group 7.6% higher. Commercial International Bank advanced 10%.
Total equity turnover on the index was around double the typical trading day in June at 752mn Egyptian pounds ($124.2mn), Kotb added.
In Saudi Arabia, the index rose 0.6%, up for a second session in the last three since last week’s five-month low, as bargain hunters returned.
Small-and mid-caps dominated, with Dar Al Arkan and Emaar Economic City gaining 9.6 and 7.1% respectively. Zain Saudi rose 1.3%. These three stocks accounted for half of all the session’s trading.
The real estate index leapt 5.5%. An announcement after trading ended said the cabinet had approved the kingdom’s long-awaited mortgage law.
Dubai’s index ticked up 0.1%, but volumes fell to their lowest since January 2 as a summer lull deepened.
Market leader Emaar Properties and builder Arabtec gained 1.4 and 0.4% respectively.
With second-quarter results expected to bring few surprises, investors are shying away despite signs of a turnaround in Dubai’s beleaguered property sector.
Abu Dhabi’s index eased 0.07% to 2,458 points.
In Kuwait, the index climbed 0.4%. Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah accepted the resignation of the government, a move that could help ease a political crisis after a court ruling effectively dissolved parliament.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Oman’s index slipped 0.7% to 5,622 points, while Bahrain’s measure ticked up 0.07% to 1,121 points.
from gulf times.