Saudi, Egyptian indexes edge down in early trade
Egyptian Exchange - YOUM7 (Archive)

DUBAI: Stock indexes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt edged down in early trade on Sunday, showing investor sentiment remains very fragile despite Friday’s sharp rebound in oil and global equity markets.

Saudi’s Arabia rose in early trade but was 0.2 percent lower after an hour. Blue chip Saudi Basic Industries added 0.4 percent and major Islamic lender Al Rajhi advanced 2.0 percent, but decliners outnumbered gainers 122 to 34 as most second- and third-tier stocks dropped.

Al Tayyar Travel tumbled 5.9 percent after saying it had acquired a 33.3 percent stake in Jumia Middle East Co, owner of online shopping website, for 125.6 million riyals ($33.5 million). It said it would finance the purchase from retained earnings.

Egypt’s index, which had plunged 4.1 percent on Thursday, gave up up early gains and edged down 0.2 percent.

Commercial International Bank fell 0.9 percent after it slumped 7.1 percent on Thursday, when it posted fourth-quarter net profit of 1.15 billion Egyptian pounds ($147 million), up 11 percent, but cut its planned dividend, saying it wanted to boost its capital adequacy ratio.

“Loan growth in the fourth quarter came in weaker than management’s expectations due to the shortage of FX currency, which resulted in a drop in working capital lending to companies,” said a note by Kuwait’s NBK Capital. The note added that if this cycle continued, capital expenditue in Egypt would probably be impacted as well.

Blue chips Telecom Egypt and Global Telecom Holding each fell more than 1.0 percent.

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