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Cairo's investment bank targets Saudi

CAIRO: Cairo-based investment bank EFG-Hermes shifted exposure on its Middle East Focus List away from Egypt and towards Saudi Arabia, saying a neutral stance was now right for the local market due to its recent strength.

Egypt's benchmark stock index was trading at around 6,693 points in mid-session trade yesterday, nearly doubling in value since a year low of 3,380 hit in February. The Hermes index has also soared in value this year.

"We shift our exposure away from Egypt and towards Saudi Arabia. We believe a neutral stance on Egypt is appropriate given the strength of the market rally, which has lifted the Hermes Financial Index 89 per cent since the 2009 low," the investment bank said. "We upgrade our stance on Saudi Arabia given apparent progress in resolving the outstanding debts of troubled Saudi groups," it said.

The bank said it added Saudi pipe system and technology firm Amiantit to its Focus List, as well as Arabian Cement, located in the country's western region. "In Saudi Arabia, we focus on companies benefitting from infrastructure spending," the bank said.



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