DUBAI: Petrochemical shares buoyed Riyadh’s stock index early on Sunday after oil steadied over $40 a barrel, while Egypt’s stock market headed for a seventh straight day of gains after the government took steps to help manufacturers.
Riyadh’s index was up 0.5 percent in the first hour of trade. The petrochemical sector added 0.9 percent, with Saudi Basic Industries 0.7 percent higher.
Saudi Arabia Fertilizers (SAFCO) said it was considering taking full control of chemical fertiliser producer National Chemical Fertilizers Co (Ibn Al-Bayttar) by buying out SABIC’s 50 percent stake. SAFCO’s shares rose 1 percent.
Retail shares, which were dumped last week after Jarir Marketing, one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest retailers, said its first-quarter sales could plunge as much as 30 percent year-on-year, regained some strength. Jarir rose 1.3 percent.
Cairo’s main index added 0.9 percent in the first hour. Last week the index rallied 7.8 percent and broke above its February peak, a bullish technical signal.
On Wednesday Egypt’s central bank said it was removing caps on foreign exchange deposits and withdrawals for companies importing essential goods, while the government said it would reduce the price at which it offers natural gas to steel plants to $4.5 per one million thermal units, from $7.
Ezz Steel rose 1.5 percent to 8.25 Egyptian pounds on Sunday after soaring 20 percent on Thursday in its heaviest trade since November 2013.
Brokerage Prime Holding estimated fair value for the stock at 15.01 pounds under the new gas price structure, and classified it a “buy”.
GB Auto climbed 2.2 percent to 2.38 pounds.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters have a median target price of 5.05 Egyptian pounds for the stock. On Thursday independent equity research firm Alphamena rated the stock a “buy” with a target of 3.76 pounds.
Beltone Financial surged 4.2 percent, recouping some of Thursday’s 10 percent loss.
Over the past three weeks its price has more than quadrupled in response to its buyout of CI Capital.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder