x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Egyptian shares at highest since March

Egyptian stocks gain as foreign investment increases, easing the pressure on the country's foreign reserves as Mohammed Morsi says a devaluation of the Egyptian pound is out of the question.

A broker monitors stock prices in Cairo, where the benchmark EGX 30 index rallied for the fourth consecutive day. Khaled Elfiqi / EPA
A broker monitors stock prices in Cairo, where the benchmark EGX 30 index rallied for the fourth consecutive day. Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

Egyptian stocks rose to the highest level since March as the president Mohammed Morsi ruled out a devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

The EGX30 Index gained 0.8 per cent to 5,325.36, the fourth straight day of increases.

The country's central bank also said it had sold €513 million of treasury bills, exceeding its €400m goal at auction of the 1-year securities with €880m of bids.

The auction was the country's first euro-denominated sale of government debt.

The sale may help Egypt to arrest a decline in its foreign reserves, which have plunged since the revolution last year as a result of investor concerns that led to speculation a devaluation of the pound may be necessary.

But Mr Morsi ruled out any thought of such a move. "No. Definitely not. This is completely out of the question," he told Reuters.

Most Arabian Gulf markets fell slightly as markets worldwide cooled, although Kuwait gained 0.9 per cent to 5,839.45, while the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index was unchanged.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 0.8 per cent to close at 1,545.40, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index sank 0.6 per cent to 2,574.11.

Stocks in Dubai hit the lowest level since last month after three successive days of declines.

European markets slumped as Spain said its GDP fell 0.4 per cent compared with the previous quarter.

European oil prices lost ground for the fifth day running as Brent crude futures slid 21 cents to US$114.51 per barrel.

ghunter@thenational.ae