CAIRO: The promise of a real estate boom pushed Egyptian stocks up again on Tuesday but institutions remained highly selective in their buying, brokers said. Four housing companies – Shams Housing and Development, United Housing, Cairo Housing and Medinet Nasr Housing – were among the top 10 gainers because Gulf investors are pushing up land prices, they said. Shams Housing rose 11 percent to LE 10.00 ($1.74), albeit on very low volume. The other three companies gained between 6.1 and 7.1 percent. Emaar of the United Arab Emirates added to the interest in land when it agreed last week to pay LE1 billion ($175 million) for a large plot for a tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast. These housing companies have lots of land in their portfolios so with real estate prices going up, the book value has increased, said Yasser Hassanein of Dynamic Securities. Sarah Tolba of Delta Securities said the housing sector usually booms in the summer anyway because of seasonal building. The building boom has benefited steel and cement stocks, Hassanein said. Ezz Steel Rebars gained 1.4 percent on Tuesday to last trade at LE 66.25. But, as usual for recent weeks, investment bank EFG-Hermes and Arabia Cotton Ginning, which are popular with local retail investors. EFG-Hermes, which accounted for more than half of total trading, last traded 5.1 percent higher at LE 42.80, partly on rumors that it might make acquisitions with a capital increase from Abraaj Capital of the United Arab Emirates. Instituions are coming back to the market slowly, mostly in blue chips, said Tolba. The benchmark Hermes index ended 1.4 percent higher at 51,237.34 points, while the broader CIBC index ended up 2 percent at 224.91 points.
The widely watched CASE 30 index gained 1.5 percent to 5,858.64 points. -Reuters