Cairo stocks close 0.82% higher cheered by IMF loan progress

Egypt’s stock market closed higher on Sunday as investors welcome news of progress toward the country obtaining the International Monetary Fund $12 billion loan lifeline.

Main index, EGX30 surged 0.82 percent, to 8436.82 points.

IMF Progress

An IMF initial loan payment to Egypt will be about $2.5 billion, Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF’s Middle East department, said on Friday, adding that he hoped to secure board approval for the programme within the next month.

IMF and Egyptian authorities are “making good progress” on talks with China, Saudi Arabia and some G7 countries to provide about $5-6 billion in additional bilateral financing, Ahmed added.

Later on Friday, IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagard said Egypt has “almost completed” the actions required for the loan $12 billion loan, but some measures related to the country’s exchange rate and subsidies are still pending.

“There are several prior actions which need to be completed before the board can actually meet,” Lagarde said at a press briefing during the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Washington.

“To my knowledge, these prior actions are almost completed — not quite — in relation to both exchange rate and in relation to subsidies, there is still a little bit of implementation to be had before the board can meet.”

Lagarde further said she hopes “that the board can meet promptly, and then once the board has met, it will have meant that the prior actions are completed, and therefore the first tranche can be released.”

Other indices; EGX50 EWI index dropped 0.42 percent, to 1353.23 points; EGX20 added 0.18 percent, to 8374.32 points.

Mid- and small-cap index EGX70 fell 0.24 percent, to 352.46 points. Price index, EGX100 rose 0.01 percent, to 806 points.

Market Cap

Market capitalisation posted gains worth 94 million Egyptian pounds ($10.6 million), to record 419.379 billion pounds during the closing session of Sunday.

Turnovers: modest

The bourse’s trading volume reached 157.324 million securities, with turnovers, closing at 500.665 million pounds, exchanged through 17,385 transactions.

Also during the closing session, 165 listed securities have been traded in, 89 declined, 44 advanced; while 32 kept their previous levels.

Investors’ Activities

Arab and non-Arab foreign investors were net buyers controlling 6.32 and 16.1 percent respectively of the total markets, with a net equity of 6.395 million pounds and 19.604 million pounds, respectively, excluding the deals.

On the contrary, local investors were net sellers capturing 77.58 percent of the total market, with a net equity of 26.000 million pounds, excluding the deals.