KSE little changed after volatile trade Combined Group dives 40 fils; Zain stagnates

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 18: Kuwait stocks closed nearly flat on Monday as the investors consolidated their gains after the 6-day rally which lifted the stocks to a nine-month high. The index pared steep early losses to end 0.94 pts lower at 6,405.73 pts. The sentiment was downbeat amid profit taking in some of the mid and low caps. The KSX 15 gauge eased 0.44 pts to 1,030.72 pts and is down almost 16 pts so far during the month while the weighted index fell 0.73 pts to 429.04 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile ticked higher after receding sharply on Sunday. 485.15 million shares changed hands — up 2.87 percent from the day before. KSE has rallied over 310 points during January driven primarily by earnings optimism.

The sectors closed mostly in the red. Oil and gas outpaced the rest with 2.61 percent upswing whereas real estate slipped 0.72 percent, the worst performer of the day. Volume wise, financial services dominated with 39.57 percent market share and real estate came in next with 36.82 percent. Combined Group Contracting Co dived 40 fils and the counter saw 41,000 shares changed hands over 5 deals. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) dropped 20 fils and Automated Systems was down by same measure. Credit Rating and Collection Co fell fils. Kuwait Portland Cement Co shed 20 fils and United Industries Co edged 2 fils lower to 100 fils. National Industries Group continued to stagnate at KD 0.218 off slight early session lows. The stock has erased 8 fils from start of the month while year-to-date, it has added 4 fils.

Wataniya Telecom gyrated in broad range before closing unchanged at KD 2.420 and Zain followed suit with a volume of 4.88 million shares. Zain has earned KD 252.14 mln and earnings per share of 65 fils in 2012 and the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 50 %. Agility added 10 fils after stagnating on Sunday.

The market opened weak and pulled sharply lower in early trade as selling pressure weighed on some of the counters. The index hit the day’s lowest level of 6356.1 pts and clawed back marginally before trading sideways for almost 2 hours. It rose steadily thereafter and managed to pare back most of the losses by close. Top gainer of the day, Soor Fuel Marketing Co spiked 9.8 percent to KD 0.280 and Zimah climbed 7.22 percent to stand next. Tahsillat dived 8.93 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, and Investors Holding Group topped the volume with 108.48 million shares. The market spread was skewed towards the losers. 42 stocks advanced whereas 52 closed lower. Of the 142 counters active on Monday, 50 closed flat. 7890 deals worth KD 38.59 million were transacted — a 19.90 percent increase in value from the day before.
On the upside, Hilal Cement Co rose 10 fils and Burgan Well Drilling Co followed suit to close at KD 0.190.

Aref Energy Holding Co added 6 fils and Gulf Petroleum Investment Co too was up by same measure on back of 19.69 million shares. Metal and Recycling Co too gained 6 fils while Contracting and Marine Services Co added 10 fils to settle at KD 0.156. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was unchanged at KD 0.990 while Gulf Bank rose 5 fils to KD 0.415. The bank’s income before provisions amounted to KD 121.4 million, up 13% from the year before while net profit was almost flat at KD 30.9 million. The Board has recommended the distribution of 5% bonus shares.

Ahli United Bank dropped 10 fils and Commercial Bank of Kuwait followed suit. Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the global local and foreign-currency deposit ratings of CBK to ‘A3/Prime-2’ from ‘A2/Prime-1’. Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait was not traded during the session. Burgan Bank retreated 10 fils to KD 0.540 after stagnating on Sunday and Kuwait International Bank was up 5 fils with a volume of 1.41 million shares. The bank has recorded a net profit of KD 13.16 million and earnings per share of 14.1 fils in 2012. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend payout of 7 percent.

Kuwait Finance House held the ground steady at KD 0.810 after seesawing earlier in the session . The lender has chalked a 24 percent rise in Q4 earnings. “Although revenue growth indicators were positive and given available information likely to be within expectations, the levels of provisions taken by the bank lead to the significant mismatch against our forecast,” Naveed Ahmed, senior financial analyst at Global Investment House, said in a note. National Investment Co was flat at KD 0.152 and KIPCO too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.405. Securities House Co took in 1 fils after trading over 24 million shares and Securities Group Co rose 6 fils to end at KD 0.124.

International Finance Co flunked 1 fils and International Financial Advisors edged 2 fils down to 53 fils. The company has announced selling 4,450,000 of Kuwait Clearing Co. shares to International Finance Co for KD 3,471,000 generating a profit of KD 267,049 profit , which will be reflected in fourth quarter results.
KAMCO knocked off 6 fils while Sokouk Holding Co and Noor Financial Investment Co clipped 1 fils each. Kuwait Financial Centre Co ( Markaz) fell 2 fils.. The company has has recorded a net profit of KD 4.12 million and earnings per share of 9 fils in 2012 rebounding from KD 356,000 loss and loss per share of 1 fils last year The bourse has been cautious so far during the week and had added 8.09 pts in last two sessions. The index has rallied 160.62 pts from start of the month and is trading almost 8 percent higher year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.

In the bourse related news, Mabanee Company has penciled a net profit of KD 33.27 million and earnings per share of 53.28 fils in 2012 — soaring from KD 20.78 profit and 34.2 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash of 20 % plus 10 % bonus shares. Mashaer Holding has announced a net profit of KD 4.31 million and earnings per share of 25 fils in the 2012 as against KD 5,20 profit and earnings per share of 29 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend payout of 15 %. Securities Group Co. has chalked a net loss of KD 5.87 million and loss per share of 23.05 fils in the nine-month period ending Dec 31, 2012 . This compares with KD 7.79 million loss and loss per share of 30.56 fils in the same period last year.

By John Mathews
Arab Times Staff

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