Egypt rises after cabinet reshuffle; Gulf mixed
Dubai - Dubai's benchmark edged down 0.1 per cent, although Drake & Scull rose 1.3 per cent after saying it had won a 340 million Qatari rial ($93.4 million) contract for work on the Doha Metro.
Egypt's stock market rose on Wednesday after President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi reshuffled his cabinet, while Gulf bourses were mixed in the absence of fresh incentives to trade.
The sweeping Egyptian reshuffle appeared to focus on improving economic performance, banking veteran Amr El Garhy was appointed finance minister and Dalia Khorshid, formerly an executive of Orascom Construction, as investment minister. Egypt's index edged down in early trade before the announcement, but closed 0.9 per cent higher in active volume. Two Orascom group affiliates, controlled by members of the Sawiris business family, surged: Orascom Construction jumped 4.8 per cent and Orascom Telecom Media rose 6.8 per cent.
Egyptian Resorts jumped 9.8 per cent after saying it had swung to a consolidated net profit last year from a loss in 2014.
Investment bank EFG Hermes rose 0.5 per cent although it reported that 2015 net profit shrank to 649 million Egyptian pounds ($73.1 million) from 707 million pounds in 2014.
The Saudi index fell 0.3 per cent as much activity focused on second-tier stocks favoured by local speculators; Wafa Insurance jumped its 10 per cent daily limit in unusually heavy trade. Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries dropped 1.0 per cent.
Zain Saudi - which has been heavily traded since Reuters reported last week that Kuwaiti parent Zain was narrowing the field of potential bidders for its mobile transmitter towers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait - added 2.9 per cent.
Dubai's benchmark edged down 0.1 per cent, although Drake & Scull rose 1.3 per cent after saying it had won a 340 million Qatari rial ($93.4 million) contract for work on the Doha Metro.
Abu Dhabi edged up 0.1 per cent as telecommunications blue chip Etisalat climbed 1.7 per cent. Qatar's index fell 0.4 per cent but Qatari Investors Group jumped its 10 per cent daily limit as it resumed trading after being suspended since February 24.