DUBAI: Egypt’s stock market edged up in early trade on Sunday after central bank Governor Tarek Amer said he had pumped $22 billion into the banking system to clear goods piled at ports, while Saudi Arabia’s bourse fell on weak cement and telecommunications shares.
Amer’s remarks on Saturday were taken as a positive sign that authorities were taking aggressive action to ease Egypt’s hard currency shortage, though he did not give details of where he was obtaining the money or how he would resolve the shortage in the long term.
The Egyptian index climbed 0.4 percent in the opening 50 minutes of trade, buoyed by property developers such as Emaar Misr, which added 2.6 percent.
But Arabian Cement dropped 2.2 percent after reporting a 26 percent fall in 2015 consolidated net profit.
Commercial International Bank (CIB) slipped a further 1.1 percent; it had dropped 1.3 percent on Thursday after the central bank placed a time limit on the tenures of chief executives of commercial lenders, a decision which is expected to force managers including CIB’s Hisham Ezz al-Arab to resign their positions.
The Saudi index fell 1.0 percent as Saudi Cement , which went ex-dividend on Sunday, tumbled 7.4 percent.
Saudi Telecom sank 4.3 percent as telecoms shares continued sliding, after a Gulf Cooperation Council official said on Thursday that the six-nation bloc would cut roaming charges for making and receiving calls and sending text messages by an average 40 percent from April 1.