Egyptian stocks advanced the most in the world as Prime Minister-Designate Hisham Qandil started unveiling the lineup of his cabinet, marking another step in the transition to democracy after last year’s uprising.
Orascom Construction Industries, Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company, surged to the highest level in more than two months. Ezz Steel (ESRS), the largest steel producer, gained the most since July 5. The benchmark EGX 30 Index (EGX30) climbed 1.5 percent, the most among 94 global markets tracked by Bloomberg, to 4,935.59 at the close in Cairo. The measure has jumped 36 percent this year. International investors were net buyers of shares today, according to data on the bourse’s website.
“The cabinet announcement is one step closer to a more stable Egypt,” said Ashraf Akhnoukh, Cairo-based senior manager for Middle East and North Africa markets at Commercial International Brokerage Co.
Foreign investment tumbled in the most populous Arab country after last year’s uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, with the transition marred by violence and a power struggle between Islamists and the military, which ruled until the election of President Mohamed Mursi last month.
Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saieed will retain his job, state-run television reported, while Osama Saleh was appointed Investment Minister. Qandil, who was named as premier last month, said Jul 28 he would officially announce the cabinet Aug. 2.
About 193 million shares were traded today, compared with a daily 12-month average of 93 million shares, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Orascom Construction rose 3.2 percent to 269.93 pounds, the highest since May 24. Ezz Steel gained 2.3 percent to 7.55 pounds. The company is in talks with authorities over new licenses for reduced direct iron.
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