UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Nov. 24: EGX indexes end Thursday on mixed note
Egyptian Stock Exchange - YOUM7(ARCHIVE)


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EGX indexes end Thursday on mixed note

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) indexes showed mixed performance at the close of trading on Thursday amid selling operations by institutions and foreign investment funds and purchase operations by Arab and Egyptian investors, Youm7 reported.

The main benchmark index EGX30 went down 1.17 percent to close at 11353.11 points; an all time high level in more than eight years.

Meanwhile, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 went up 0.42 percent to close at 447.77 points, while the broader index EGX100 went down 0.09 percent to close at 1061.88 points.

The market capitalization incurred losses worth 6.7 billion EGP to record 559.784 billion EGP during the closing session of Thursday.


Egyptian importers nursing losses after currency float want a bailout

Huddled in the Radisson Blu hotel on the outskirts of Cairo last week, some of Egypt’s top wheat traders talked damage control: they had lost more than $1 billion since the country floated its currency and now they wanted to be bailed out.

Egypt took markets by surprise on Nov. 3 when it abandoned its peg to the U.S. dollar in a move aimed at attracting capital inflows and ending a currency black market that had all-but displaced the banks.

The flotation helped the cash-strapped government clinch a $12 billion IMF loan programme it hopes will revive growth hampered by political uncertainty since a 2011 uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

But it also created huge losses for some importers of staples like wheat and medicine who opened credit lines when the pound was pegged but did not settle before the float. The pound has halved in value against the dollar since Nov. 3, to trade at about 17.60 to the dollar on Thursday.


100b EGP proceeds of new investment certificates: NBE deputy chairman

The proceeds of the new investment certificates with 16-20 percent interest rates issued earlier this month reached 100 billion EGP ($5.8b) so far, Yehia Abu el Fotouh, deputy chairperson of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) was quoted by Youm7 Wednesday.

On Nov. 9, several Egyptian state-owned banks provided new 18-month investment certificates with highest yields offered so far reaching 20 percent and distributed every three months. The banks, including the Banque Misr and (NBE) have also provided a three-year investment certificate with 16 percent yields distributed every month.

The move came after the central bank announced it floated the Egyptian pound, setting a guidance level of 13 pounds to the dollar, nearly 48 percent higher than the rate offered since March.


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.

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