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Dubai Shares Extend Best Start to Year Since 2005; Egypt Drops

Egypt’s benchmark measure dropped 1.4 percent, the biggest decline since March 25.
02.04.12 | Interesting article at Bloomberg Businessweek

The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index (BGCC200), which tracks the biggest 200 companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council, added 0.7 percent and Saudi Arabia’s gauge gained 0.9 percent. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark, Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) and Oman’s MSM30 Index climbed 0.6 percent, while Kuwait’s measure was little changed. Bahrain’s gauge was unchanged.

Egypt’s benchmark measure dropped 1.4 percent, the biggest decline since March 25, after the Muslim Brotherhood nominated Khairat el-Shater as its presidential candidate, raising investors’ concern that tension between the dominant power in parliament and the interim military rulers will rise. The group, which has criticized the military for not firing the cabinet of Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzouri, had pledged not to field a candidate for president.

“The nomination of el-Shatter is a signal for some that we may be getting closer to a clash between the Brotherhood and the military council,” said Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities. “Also, on the corporate level, the withdrawal of land from Sodic is raising uncertainty about the future of the real estate sector.”

Sodic, as Six of October Development & Investment Co. (OCDI) is known, said a government agency withdrew a plot of land it had awarded for Sodic’s Eastown project on the outskirts of Cairo. Sodic said it plans to appeal the ruling. The shares tumbled 3.7 percent to 15.83 Egyptian pounds, the lowest since March 19.