* Egypt market shrugs off killing of senior official
* Index rises above January 2011 peak
* EFG-Hermes jumps after saying it's arranging IPOs
* Dubai bounces 3.2 pct, back near 5-year high
* Emaar soars after upgrade by EFG-Hermes
By Nadia Saleem
DUBAI, Jan 28 Egypt's stock market climbed to a
44-month high on Tuesday after the army chief was given the
green light to run for president, while markets in the United
Arab Emirates snapped a two-session decline.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces cleared Field
Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run in upcoming elections, which
he looks sure to win. Many Egyptians see him as the best chance
for political stability.
"Sisi still didn't officially announce his bid for
presidency, but all roads are leading in that direction because
of popular demand," said Mohamed Radwan, director of
international sales at Pharos Securities in Cairo.
"People are more comfortable having Sisi as president rather
than anyone else because it creates a sense of stability."
Sentiment was also helped by Finance Minister Ahmed Galal
saying the interim government would soon launch a second
stimulus package of about the same size as the first one, 30
billion Egyptian pounds ($4.3 billion).
In a sign that Sisi may have to face a growing Islamist
militant campaign, gunmen killed a senior Egyptian Interior
Ministry official outside his home in Cairo on Tuesday,
according to security officials.
But for now at least, many investors feel the level of
violence is tolerable. Cairo's benchmark index rose 1.5
percent to 7,368 points, its highest level since May 2010.
It climbed above strong technical resistance at 7,248
points, the January 2011 high; a weekly close above that level
would confirm a break. The index faces another major resistance
at 7,693 points, the peak in April 2010.
Shares in EFG-Hermes rose 3.3 percent after the
investment bank said it was arranging three initial public
offers of shares with a combined value of over $300 million this
year - Egypt's first IPOs since 2010.
In the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's bourse jumped
3.2 percent to 3,805 points, halting a two-day drop that was
triggered by the global sell-off in emerging markets. It ended
just short of Thursday's five-year, intra-day peak 3,826 points.
Blue chip Emaar Properties jumped 6.3 percent to
8.24 dirhams, its highest close since September 2008, after
EFG-Hermes raised its price target for the stock to 10.1 dirhams
and upgraded it to a 'buy', citing improved sentiment towards
growth stocks in the region and the strengths of Emaar's own
business, which saw strong gains in leasing and hospitality
revenues during the first nine months of last year.
"Emaar represents a pure exposure for many investors who
want to play these two themes and the increase in liquidity
(into both the capital market and real economy) is supporting
asset price appreciation which is reflecting positively on
Emaar's value," EFG-Hermes said.
Some traders also cited talk that construction was starting
on Dubai Hills Estate, a flagship development which is part of
the Dubai government's mega project Mohammed Bin Rashid City.
"The move in the market today was mainly retail-driven,"
said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor.
"Overall, there is a strong momentum in the market as it is
backed by a solid economic story."
Abu Dhabi's measure also ended its decline, climbing
* The index advanced 1.5 percent to 7,368 points.
* The index rose 3.2 percent to 3,805 points.
* The index climbed 1.3 percent to 4,586 points.
* The index ticked up 0.01 percent to 8,656 points.
* The index declined 0.7 percent to 11,170 points.
* The index slipped 0.1 percent to 7,148 points.
* The index retreated 0.4 percent to 7,749 points.
* The index gained 0.5 percent to 1,278 points.