July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s shares rose the most in more than three months as the Arab country reshuffles its cabinet to placate protesters demanding faster change five months after a revolt ousted the president.
Commercial International Bank, the country’s biggest publicly-traded lender, jumped 3.7 percent. Talaat Moustafa Group Holding gained the most since May. The benchmark EGX 30 Index advanced 3.3 percent, the most since March 27, to 5,263.30 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo. Dubai’s benchmark measure fell for a second day and Israel’s TA-25 Index lost less than 0.1 percent.
“Investors are anticipating the cabinet reshuffle will calm the protests down,” said Tamer Nigm, head of sales and trading at Cairo-based Watheeqa Securities Brokerage. “But the market is trading at very low volumes, so the situation remains volatile.” About 93 million shares traded on the Egyptian Exchange today compared with a daily average of 100 million shares since trading resumed on March 23 after a near two-month suspension amid the unrest.
Protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other cities for a tenth day to demand the government speed up political and economic changes and trials of former officials under ex-President Hosni Mubarak for alleged corruption and killing of protesters. Hazem El Beblawi said today he has been appointed finance minister and deputy prime minister.
Commercial International Bank climbed the most this month to 27.76 Egyptian pounds. Talaat Moustafa jumped 6.3 percent to 4.71 pounds after Al Mal reported the company expects sales at its Madinaty project on the outskirts of Cairo to reach 27.5 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) by year-end.
In the Persian Gulf, Dubai shares fell amid investors concern the debt crisis in Europe may spread and that political bickering in the U.S. may jeopardize the nation’s credit rating. The benchmark DFM General Index slipped 0.2 percent to 1,545.02 at the close in the emirate.
“The DFM is struggling to get out of negative territory due to very weak liquidity and confidence,” said Tariq Qaqish, deputy head of asset management at Al Mal Capital PSC in Dubai. “In addition to global uncertainty pertaining to the U.S. debt ceiling and the EU struggling members, many investors believe that summer time and Ramadan translates into weaker liquidity.” Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, falls in August this year.
Kuwait’s gauge declined 1.6 percent, the most since March. Agility tumbled 6 percent, the most since June 9, to 315 fils. The Kuwaiti storage and transport company accused of overbilling the American military said after the market closed the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 declined the company’s request to review a District Court ruling.
The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index, which tracks the biggest 200 companies in the Gulf region, fell 0.6 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index retreated 1 percent. Bahrain’s BB All Share Index lost 0.2 percent, Oman’s MSM 30 Index dropped 0.1 percent and Qatar’s QE Index was little changed. Abu Dhabi’s gauge rose 0.3 percent.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. led declines in Israel, losing 2.6 percent to 165 shekels. A U.S. district court found the world’s largest generic drugmaker infringed Amgen Inc. patents relating to human G-CSF.
The yield on Israel’s benchmark 5 percent Mimshal Shiklit bond due January 2020 fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 4.98 percent. The shekel weakened 0.4 percent to 3.4380 against the dollar on July 15.
--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Shanthy Nambiar
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