x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Egypt's index gets a boost

Egyptian shares rose yesterday as the country's cabinet reshuffled to appease protesters demanding faster reforms.


Hadeel Al Sayegh


Egypt's index rose to its highest level in a week after a cabinet shuffle that followed protests demanding faster reforms.

Orascom Telecom, North Africa's biggest mobile phone company by subscribers, was up 1.5 per cent to 4.04 Egyptian pounds a share. That helped the EGX 30 Index gain 3.2 per cent to 6,263.30 points.

Hazem El Beblawi, the new finance minister, will replace Samir Radwan, who was named on Saturday as an economic adviser and one of the two deputies to Essam Sharaf, the prime minister.

Mr Sharaf has yet to announce his new cabinet, although the ministers of finance, industry and foreign affairs have already quit.

Citadel Capital rose 0.7 per cent to 5.38 pounds, even after the private-equity company reported a widened net loss in a first quarter hit by political turmoil and with weak fund-raising momentum expected for the rest of the year.

"The post-revolutionary period has not been easy," said Ahmed Heikal, the chairman and founder, in a statement to the Egyptian bourse yesterday.

"Citadel Capital is still in a cash preservation posture, our previously planned IPOs [initial public offerings] remain postponed, and we continue to expect lower-than-usual fund-raising momentum for the balance of the year," he said.

In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index rose 0.2 per cent to 2,732.85, buoyed by the country's largest telecommunications operator. Etisalat closed 0.9 per cent higher at Dh11.05. The Dubai Financial Market General Index was down 0.1 per cent at 1,545.02.

Elsewhere in the region: Kuwait's index fell 1.6 per cent to 6,068.60; Bahrain's slipped 0.2 per cent to 1,316.91; and Oman's and Qatar's were little changed at 5,981.55 and 8,483.66, respectively. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was down 0.9 per cent at 6,459.23.