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Egypt succumbs to profit taking, Saudi whipsaws but ends week up
(Reuters) Egypt’s stock index slipped from a multi-year peak on Thursday while shares in the Gulf were mixed with Saudi Arabia’s market swinging in volatile, heavy trade but ending the week on a firm footing.
Cairo’s index of the 30 most actively traded shares dropped 1.7 percent to 11,353 points, falling from a strong technical barrier at its 2008 peak of 12,039 points. The broader market index, which has been outperforming over the last few sessions, retreated 0.1 percent.
Investor turnout remained strong, according to bourse data, but heavily skewed towards aggressive selling from local traders while international funds remained net buyers.
Mohamed El Nabarawy, head of asset management at Cairo-based HC Securities & Investment, believes that there are opposing forces at play which will create a divergence in stock performance in the near term.
“So far we have seen shares rally in unison after the (currency) float, so profit taking is an almost natural occurrence. But I think moving forward stocks will diverge as investors assess the impact of higher VAT and of the 3 percent hike in interest rates on profitability.”
On Nov. 3, the central bank ditched its peg of 8.8 per dollar and hiked interest rates by 300 basis points to stabilize the newly floated pound. The stock market index has rallied 33 percent since that date.
In August the government introduced a value-added tax of 13 percent, rising to 14 percent in the next fiscal year, part of an economic reform plan.
On Thursday Orascom Telecom was the most heavily traded share, falling 5.6 percent. Amer Group dropped 5.9 percent.
Yields rise at Egypt six-month, one-year T-bond auction
(Reuters) – The average yields on Egyptian six-month and one-year treasury bills rose at an auction on Thursday, central bank data showed.
The 182-day treasury bills rose to 18.258 percent from 17.716 percent at the previous auction, and the yield for the 364-day treasury bills rose to 18.034 percent from 17.606 percent in a similar auction.
Free zones in Egypt provide 185K jobs: official
Egyptian Free Zones provide 185,000 jobs and represent a separate project owned by the investor, said Chairman of Free Zones Sector at the General Authority for Investment Hossam Hadad on Thursday.
The total number of the projects in the free zones reached 1,109 projects with capital worth $11 billion, including $2 billion in foreign investments, Youm7 reported Hadad during a workshop held in the headquarters of the general authority.