* Deadly bombing worries Egyptian retail investors
* But presidential election in May could spark rally
* Deyaar, other property stocks lift Dubai
* Ex-dividend stocks drag down Abu Dhabi
* Commercial Bank of Kuwait jumps on Islamic plan
By Olzhas Auyezov
DUBAI, April 3 Egypt's bourse, which witnessed
heavy profit-taking this week, came under pressure again on
Thursday after explosions in Cairo killed two people including a
senior police officer, while the local currency and economic
The Cairo benchmark tumbled 2.9 percent to a
six-week low of 7,701 points, with most constituent shares in
the red and some dropping steeply, such as Telecom Egypt
which fell 8.6 percent.
"What happened yesterday was big," said Chamel Fahmy of
Cairo-based HC Securities and Investment, referring to the
deadly blasts outside Cairo University which triggered a fresh
wave of selling by retail investors.
Egypt's stock market surged earlier this year on
expectations that former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, seen
by many investors as a stabilising figure, would run for
president. His official candidacy announcement last week caused
many investors to lock in gains.
However, Fahmy said, investors are likely to start making
fresh positive bets in the run-up to the presidential election
set for May 26-27 - which Sisi is expected to win easily.
"The closer we get to the presidential election, the more
people will ignore what is going on in the street," he said.
"I am not extremely negative on the market, I think that by
next week some buyers will emerge."
Also contributing to the negative backdrop on Thursday was
the slowly weakening Egyptian pound, which hit a
six-month low against the U.S. dollar, and a purchasing
managers' survey showing that economic activity slowed last
But some investors were still snapping up shares in large
trades, a sign of how much the market has normalised since the
depths of 2013.
GB Auto chief executive Raouf Ghabbour sold 10
percent of his stake in the company to Egyptian and other Arab
investors for 454 million Egyptian pounds ($65 million), market
sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Ghabbour owned around 37 percent of GB Auto's shares as of
end-December, according to Thomson Reuters data. The company's
stock - which is not included in the main index - closed flat at
Dubai's bourse rose 0.9 percent to a fresh
multi-year high on the back of property stocks.
Developer Deyaar jumped 11.8 percent as its
shareholders were due to vote on allowing non-Gulf foreign
investors to buy up to 25 percent of its shares. The company has
yet to disclose the results of the meeting.
According to the bourse, Deyaar currently allows only
investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to buy its
stock. The shares are still far from recovering their mid-2008
levels despite the rebound of Dubai's property prices.
Emaar Properties, which was up 0.5 percent at
10.10 dirhams on Thursday, already trades above its levels in
September 2008, when local stocks plunged because of the global
financial crisis and Dubai's real estate crash.
In Abu Dhabi, several stocks going ex-dividend,
including telecommunications operator Etisalat which
fell 2.1 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank which lost
2.6 percent, dragged the index down 0.6 percent.
In Kuwait, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf
state's fifth largest lender by assets, jumped 6.3 percent after
saying a majority of shareholders had approved a plan to convert
the bank into a full-fledged Islamic lender.
* The index fell 2.9 percent to 7,701 points.
* The index rose 0.9 percent to 4,618 points.
* The index slid 0.6 percent to 4,923 points.
* The index climbed 0.4 percent to 11,984 points.
* The index added 0.2 percent to 9,558 points.
* The index edged up 0.03 percent to 7,572 points.
* The index rose 0.2 percent to 1,367 points.
(Additional reporting by Ehab Farouk in Cairo; Editing by