The Egyptian stock market responded positively Wednesday to the interim ruling military council’s statement regarding the transfer of power to a civilian administration and a democratically-elected president in the north African country.
PANA reports that all four major indices rose on Wednesday after the military council head, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawy, vowed that legislative elections would start 28 November as planned, in the face of the biggest wave of unrest that hit the country since the 25 January revolution.
Tantawy also pledged that the presidential elections in Egypt would take place at a date not later than 30 June, 2012.
The stock exchange broke a 10-session losing streak after Tantawy also expressed the military council’s readiness to give up power immediately through a public referendum, following five days of anti-regime protests that left more than 30 people dead and over 1,700 injured according to the Egyptian health ministry.
The Egyptian bourse had nosedived by nearly 2% at the beginning of Wednesday’s session, before making the comeback in what technical analysts believe could mean “the worst is behind the battered investors” who have lost nearly 20% of the value of their portfolios in the last several days and now have lost almost half of their money since the forced ouster of three-decade ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Despite a general perception that Tantawy’s speech was accepted by most Egyptians and most political groups, including Islamists in Egypt, some revolutionary youth groups and social activists rejected his offer to form a national unity government after accepting the resignation of Premier Essam Sharaf’s Cabinet.
In view of this, a number of them remained camped in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir square through Wednesday, with ongoing confrontations with police who are trying to protect the nearby interior ministry headquarters from possible attack.
Stocks finally finished positive on Wednesday, with 143 shares rising, 27 falling and six staying put.
The main benchmark EGX30 index of heavyweight shares, the favourite of foreigners and institutions added 1.11% to 3,717 points, while the newly introduced EGX20 index gained 1.38% to 3,982 points.
The small and medium share index, the target of Egyptian individual investors, was the biggest winner of the day, jumping 3.86% back above the 400 points psychological barrier to 408, as thile the price weighted EGX100 index rose 2.63% to 646 points.
Individual investors from all nationalities were net buyers on Wednesday, while all institutions, with the exception of Arab ones, were net sellers.
Dealings on Wednesday reached nearly US$ 45 million, which along with the values of major indices represents the lowest levels of several years