x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Egypt shares soar on bets of political calm

What's Up: Egyptian shares climbed the most in almost two months on bets that authorities will put a controversial constitution to a referendum peacefully this month.

CAIRO // Egyptian shares climbed the most in almost two months on bets that authorities will put a controversial constitution to a referendum peacefully this month after an influential judicial body agreed to supervise the vote.

The benchmark EGX 30 Index gained 2.9 per cent to 4,991.51 in Cairo, making it among the strongest measures tracked by Bloomberg.

Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt's biggest publicly traded company, headed for the largest increase since June 25.

Commercial International Bank Egypt, the country's biggest publicly traded lender, rose 5 per cent.

The Supreme Judicial Council said it would help to supervise a December 15 referendum on the charter, after another prominent group of judges turned down the task.

Protesters who argue the draft constitution increases the role of religion and infringes on women's rights were scheduled to march yesterday on the presidential palace in Cairo, where police and military forces have been stationed.

"Participation of judges is a positive nod to the market, and some investors are anticipating [the] protests will continue their non-violent trend," said Teymour Abou El Kheir,the chief investment officer at Infinity Developments in Cairo.

"We still think the market isn't reflecting the level of uncertainty in the country."

The index's 10-day volatility, a measure of price swings, climbed to 66, the highest since April last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Orascom Construction gained 4.9 per cent to 232.5 Egyptian pounds.

Commercial International Bank advanced to 34.27 pounds.

* Bloomberg News