Egypt’s benchmark stock index rose the most in more than four months before the North African country announced the results of its first free presidential elections. Shares in Abu Dhabi declined.
Orascom Construction Industries, the nation’s biggest publicly traded builder, climbed the most since May and Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE (COMI) rose 3.2 percent. Egypt’s EGX 30 index rallied 3.3 percent, the most since Feb. 13, to 4,166.32 at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo. The gauge tumbled 8.8 percent last week. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200) fell 0.4 percent as Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) retreated 1.1 percent, the most since March 7.
Egypt’s shares rose “especially after different political factions announced that they will not resort to violence and will accept the choice of the people,” said Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities.
Egypt will announce the results of the presidential vote today. The Muslim Brotherhood has denied it plans to resort to violence if their candidate, Mohamed Mursi, doesn’t win the race. The Brotherhood will continue peaceful protests against the military’s move to limit the powers of the next president and increase its influence in the writing of a new constitution, Mursi said at a televised press conference over the weekend.
Still, analysts such as Said Hirsh of London-based Capital Economics say the results may spark unrest if former air force commander Ahmed Shafik is declared winner.
Orascom Construction advanced 2.5 percent, the most since May 13, to 221.5 pounds. Commercial International, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender by assets, rallied to 22.28 Egyptian pounds. About 75 million shares were traded in Egypt today, compared with a 12-month daily average of 86 million.
In the Persian Gulf shares retreated after oil declined 5.1 percent last week to $79.76 a barrel, extending losses this year to 19 percent. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia (SABIC), holds about one-fifth of the world’s proven oil reserves.
“All markets across the region are soft on very light activity,” said Julian Bruce, the Dubai-based director of institutional sales trading at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. “An air of enhanced caution pervades as we await political developments in both Europe and the region.”
Greece will push its creditors to extend fiscal deadlines under the country’s bailout program by at least two years, according to a policy document drawn up by the three parties in the country’s governing coalition.
Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) retreated 0.7 percent, while Oman’s MSM30 Index (MSM30) lost 0.2 percent and Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) decreased 0.3 percent. Kuwait’s measure tumbled 1.2 percent and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) fell 0.4 percent.
Tokio Marine Saudi Arabia, a company that offers Shariah- compliant property and casualty insurance, closed at 77.5 riyals on its trading debut in Riyadh.
In Israel, the benchmark TA-25 Index (TA-25) gained 0.6 percent. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA:US) jumped the most in more than 12 years, surging 12 percent to 163 shekels, after a U.S. federal district judge ruled that competitors’ drug applications for the multiple sclerosis medicine Copaxone infringe its patent.
Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc. (PLX:US) posted its biggest drop this year, slumping 9.8 percent to 23.32 shekels, after the European Union rejected the biotechnology company’s first drug on the market.
The yield on Israel’s 5.5 percent benchmark Mimshal Shiklit government bonds due January 2022 rose four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 4.41 percent.
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