Egyptian Stocks Lead Gains in Mideast; Kuwait Falls: Inside EM

Egyptian stocks rose the most in the Middle East on bets of a tourism sector recovery. Kuwait shares declined as investors focused on the prospect for oil prices amid signs of stumbling economic recovery from Europe to Asia.

Egypt’s EGX 30 gained 2.1% in Cairo, with Commercial International Bank and Egyptian Financial Group-Hermes Holding adding the most.

There are indications that tourism “may be staging a comeback” despite the acceleration of coronavirus cases across Western Europe, analysts at Shuaa Securities Egypt wrote in a note. They also mentioned that the central bank appears to be edging toward the renewal of a relief to business that affected by the pandemic.

Kuwait’s main equity index led losses in the region, ending 1.9% lower, the biggest decline in a month. Saudi Aramco shares also dropped, while the Tadawul All Share Index finished higher.

Brent crude fell 1.2% on Friday as Europe’s economy unexpectedly lost momentum amid a battle to control a spike in coronavirus cases. Aramco has suspended a deal to build a $10 billion refining and petrochemicals complex in China, according to people familiar with the matter, as it slashes spending to cope with lower oil prices.

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.1% last week, the first weekly drop in a month
  • MORE: Saudi Aramco Suspends $10 Billion China Oil Refinery Venture

MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:

  • Tadawul All Share Index rises 0.8% in Riyadh
    • Aramco drops 0.2%, trimming increase of 1.9% last week
    • Abdullah Al Othaim rises 3.9%, the most in over three months, after saying it will pay 3 riyals/share for 1H dividend, 1 riyal higher than last year
  • Israel’s TA-35 climbs 1.2% as of 3:34 p.m. local time, with Bank Hapoalim, Nice and Israel Discount Bank boosting the index the most
  • Kamco Invest downgrades Kuwait’s education company Humansoft to neutral from outperform on potential impact of a 20% fee reduction for online classes imposed on private universities
    • Reduction could affect 2020-2021 revenue, analyst Thomas Mathew writes in a note
    • He adds that higher dividend payout and/or growth via enrollment or acquisitions could drive a re-rating for the stock
  • Markets in the United Arab Emirates and Oman were closed due to holidays.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.