Invest AD asset mgt arm buying Egypt stocks

Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:30pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi-owned Invest AD's asset management arm has been buying Egyptian stocks this week as the stock exchange reopened after seven weeks and stock prices reached attractive levels, the firm's CIO said on Thursday.

"We reduced our position in Egypt to 14 percent from 25 percent when the Tunisian revolution broke out and before the Egyptian market closed," David Sanders told Reuters on the sidelines of a Thomson Reuters Africa investment conference.

"We are already buying Egyptian stocks and for those Egyptian stocks which have long-term potential, we are looking to get back in. We believe the prices a year or two from now will be higher than they are today."

Invest AD's asset management arm has "several hundred million dollars" under management in several funds in Africa and the Middle East. Invest AD also invests for its owner, sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Sanders declined to name which Egyptian stocks the company has been buying.

Egypt's stock exchange closed on January 28 amid mass protests that eventually toppled the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. It opened on Wednesday to avert the 40-day suspension limit that would lead to expulsion from MSCI's closely-followed emerging markets index.

The stock market had fallen 21 percent this year prior to the closure, and a further 9 percent on Wednesday, but ended up on the day on Thursday.

Neighbouring Gulf markets have also come under pressure from political protests across the region, including in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

But countries like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are now acquiring safe haven status due to their relative political stability, despite the debt crisis which engulfed the emirate of Dubai less than two years ago.   Continued...

<p>Egyptian Army soldiers guard the stock exchange in Cairo February 28, 2011. Egypt's stock exchange, closed for a month because of the protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, will reopen on Tuesday, the cabinet said in a statement. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh</p>
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