Sunday, May 22, 2011

Market Brief (16-20 May 2011)

During the week ending May 20, growing concerns over the Euro Zone debt crisis weakened global stock markets. A European Union finance ministers meeting approved an aid package for Portugal, while Greece was urged to meet deficit targets by taking more austerity measures. On Friday, Fitch downgraded Greek credit rating by three notches to B+. Both the US Dow Industrial Jones index and the Nikkei 225 index ended the week down 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Most European stock indices also declined with the Greek index suffering the largest loss of 4.3%. African stock markets delivered rather mixed performance during the week (Figure 1).

Equity Focus
Egypt: The Egyptian stock index recorded strong performance powered by news of $1 billion US debt relief and $4 billion Saudi aid package. The CASE 30 index ended the week with a gain of 4.9% with positive support coming from properties (+17.0%), building materials (+4.4%) and telecom (3.9%) sectors. During the week, the Stock Exchange released its plans to introduce exchange-traded funds in the local market and allow short-selling.

Morocco: The CASA All Share Index edged down by 1.5% over the week on declining stock prices of building materials and real estate sectors. Losses came for Maroc Leasing (-10.3%), CIMENTS (-3.1%) and Delta Holdings (-2.9%).

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