CAIRO: Volatility dominated the market this week, with the index mostly moving in line with market heavyweight Orascom Construction (OCI), which advanced four times and declined twice in the last six sessions.
Overall, Egypt’s benchmark CASE30 index lost a sliver by 0.28 percent to end the week at 3,585.82 points.
Buoyed by the central bank’s decision to slash interest rates the stock market rose Sunday 2.65 percent to 3,696.26 points. Trading volume was still low levels of LE 491.71 million ($88.37 million).
Egypt’s central bank cut Friday its key overnight interest rates by 100 basis points in a bid to support economic growth.
Shares of construction giant OCI led gains, jumping 7.81 percent to LE 113. The stock is trading at 3.73 times 2008 earnings, the eighth lowest on the CASE 30 index, according to Reuters data.
Regional mobile phone operator Orascom Telecom (OT) advanced 0.6 percent to LE 22.18 per share after last week s news of its revised share buyback program.
The market extended gains for the third straight session on Monday, rising 1.07 percent to 3,735.72 points. Trading turnover stood at LE 599.65 million ($107.66 million).
Index heavyweight OCI led gains for the second consecutive day, edging 4.87 percent higher to LE 116.50 per share.
Construction material constituents sparked strong local institutional buying on recent rises in cement prices. Cement prices jumped on Sunday after an industrial strike by truck owners cut the immediate supply of building materials in many parts of Egypt.
South Valley Cement gained 4.29 percent to LE 4.13 after it said it planned to buy a controlling stake in Golden Pyramids Plaza, the owner of City Stars mall.
Bucking the market uptrend were shares of OT which lost 4.64 percent to LE 21.15 on profit taking.
Shares of giant carpet maker Oriental Weavers also closed in the red, slipping 6.34 percent to LE 22. Regional investment bank EFG-Hermes shed 2.71 percent to LE 14 per share.
The index tracked global markets lower which fell as fears about the world economy and corporate profits grew. The index slid Tuesday 2.95 percent to 3,625.60 points on a turnover of LE 580.07 million ($103.86 million).
Shares in OT, the region’s largest mobile phone operator, plummeted 8.3 percent to LE 19.99. OCI, Egypt s largest listed builder, also saw its shares dive 4.9 percent to LE 109.48 a share.
Shares of big cap Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s largest listed lender, rose a hair by 0.03 percent to LE 34.90.
Meanwhile, shares of Egypt National Societe Generale (NSGB) ended the day flat at LE 13.86 after the management said it has approved a 1-for-10 stock dividend, increasing the bank s capital by LE 302.9 million.
Market correction in both Orascoms dragged Wednesday the index down by 2.64 percent at 3,529.80 points. Trading volume was below average at LE 479.89 million ($85.92 million).
Shares of OCI, the most heavily traded stock, fell 3.64 percent to LE 108.12, while OT, the second most heavily traded, lost 2.93 percent to LE 19.88.
Traders explained investors locked profits on both stocks, which together constitute around 35 percent of trading on the CASE30.
Telecom Egypt (TE), the country’s fixed-line monopoly, dipped 7.25 percent to LE 13.95 per share.
Brokers said the three stocks had benefited from modest recent rallies and were liable to corrective selling pressure.
Tampering the market anger were shares of NSGB, which rose 4.35 percent to LE 14.40 after it announced much better than expected 2008 results on Tuesday.
The market reversed trends on Thursday and added 1.59 percent to 3,585.82 points. Trading turnover was at low volumes of LE 447.7 million.
Shares of OCI again led gains, soaring 4.63 percent to LE 113.40. The stock has moved more than 2 percent in each of the last six trading sessions, advancing four times and declining twice.
Further boosting the market was flow of Gulf money into the Egyptian market as the Dubai bourse posted its biggest one-day gain in three months after the exchange secured a refinancing loan.
Shares of OT gained 0.65 percent to LE 20, while its subsidiary MobiNil rose 0.97 percent to LE 140.