Egypt bourse seen higher after Mursi scraps decree

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Egypt's bourse is expected to stabilise after President Mohamed Mursi cancelled a decree that gave him sweeping powers and sparked deadly violence.

Mursi however did not delay Saturday's referendum on a new constitution as his opponents had demanded.

A new decree outlined steps for setting up an assembly to draft a new constitution should the current draft be rejected in the referendum on December 15.

"The outcome of talks with opposition was positive - for the short-term, we're not going into the worst case scenario and that's good," says Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor. "Mursi will sit with opposition and find ways towards national unity. We are now going into a three to six months period of legal change and there will be bumps ahead."

Cairo's benchmark index tumbled on Thursday after clashes between political parties killed five, taking losses to 11 percent since Mursi awarded himself extraordinary powers in a decree on November 22.

In Doha, telecom operator Qtel will be in focus after the firm hired JP Morgan Chase to advise on a potential bid for Vivendi's Maroc Telecom.

In Saudi Arabia, telecom operator Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) may see some relief buying after it resumed pre-paid SIM card sales after a two-week suspension by the regulator over provisioning requirements.

Kuwait's Burgan Bank received approval from Turkey's banking regulator for its planned purchase of Eurobank's Turkish arm, Kuwait's state news agency reported on Saturday.

Elsewhere, global shares rose modestly on Friday after a surprisingly strong US jobs report for November was tempered by a drop in American consumer sentiment amid a lack of progress in talks to avert the "fiscal cliff."

Brent crude settled 1 cent lower on the day at US$107.02 per barrel, bringing weekly losses for the global benchmark crude to nearly 4 percent.

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