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Stock News: Egypt Rebounds, Saudi Arabia Flat

Stock News: Egypt Rebounds, Saudi Arabia Flat

Saudi Arabia’s market lacked clear direction and was nearly flat as oil edged down towards $62 per barrel.

Egypt’s stock market rebounded on Monday after bullish comments from government officials and executives and signs that the planned parliamentary election will go ahead soon, despite a court ruling that called its timing into question. Saudi Arabia’s bourse was nearly flat.

The main Cairo index climbed 1.4 per cent, largely because of investment bank EFG Hermes, which surged 5.6 per cent.

Chief executive Karim Awad said on Sunday that EFG Hermes was studying investments in renewable energy and hoped to start a leasing business in its home country within months. He also said the firm wanted to expand its operations, which include brokerage, asset management and advisory services, in the Gulf region.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said on Monday that the country expected to attract $8 billion of foreign direct investment in the current fiscal year through June, up from $4 billion last year.

He also said authorities had started to devalue the pound gradually in order to protect central bank reserves while helping foreigners to repatriate profits.

Egypt’s market had been weak in the previous few sessions amid uncertainty about the fate of the parliamentary election scheduled to start this month. On Sunday, a court ruled that part of the election law was unconstitutional.

However, the main election committee then said it was working on a new timetable for the vote and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed his government to amend the law within one month, suggesting the election will not be delayed long.

Saudi Arabia’s market, on the other hand, lacked clear direction and was nearly flat as oil edged down towards $62 per barrel. Saudi Basic Industries, the Gulf’s biggest petrochemicals company, slipped 0.5 per cent.

Al Rajhi Bank fell 0.8 per cent as its shares no longer carried a dividend. Trading focused on property stocks Dar Al Arkan and Jabal Omar, which rose 2.4 and 1.7 per cent respectively.

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