x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Saudi aid gives Cairo a lift

Egypt's exchange climbed to its highest in nearly seven weeks as investors were cheered by Saudi Arabia's aid package

Orascom Construction advanced almost 3 per cent.
Orascom Construction advanced almost 3 per cent.

Egypt's exchange reached its highest point in nearly seven weeks as a foreign aid package aimed at bolstering the economy offered a boon to investors.

The benchmark EGX 30Index advanced 3 per cent to 5,405.52 points, its highest close since April 7. Saudi Arabia, which has the region's largest economy, has pledged US$4 billion (Dh14.69bn) of aid to Egypt.

Market heavyweights led the momentum in Cairo, with Commercial International Bank rising 2 per cent to 5.09 Egyptian pounds and Orascom Construction, the largest listed Egyptian company, advancing almost 3 per cent to 258.51 pounds.

But for fund managers elsewhere in the region, the summer hiatus has already set in.

"The dearth is already there, and with results out of the way there are no other key catalysts," said Shehzad Janab, the head of asset management and advisory at Daman Investments in Dubai.

"Investors are sitting on positions in the market and I would be surprised if people have played the risk game."

Daily share trading volumes on the UAE markets have struggled to breach the 200 million mark, and anticipation ahead of the index compiler MSCI's reassessment of the UAE and Qatari markets is leading traders to hold their positions in the markets, Mr Janab said.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index slipped 0.3 per cent to 1,578.68, and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index edged 0.3 per cent lower to 2,646.77.

Elsewhere in the region: Qatar's index fell 0.4 per cent to 8,606.81; Bahrain's lost 0.5 per cent to close at 1,364.57; Muscat's closed 0.3 per cent higher at 6,064.49; and the Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index rose 0.3 per cent to 6,750.75.