KSE resumes uptrend with 18.02 pts rise United Projects Co jumps 40 fils; Zain retreats

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20: Kuwait stocks resumed upswing on Wednesday after ending in red in last two sessions. The index climbed 18.02 pts in choppy trade helped by speculative buying in some of the small and mid caps.  The banks were largely muted whereas the other frontline stock ended mostly lower. The sentiment was predominantly caution - laced as investors eye cues to sustain the momentum. The KSX 15 measure eased 2.82 pts to close at 1,028.88 points while weighted index inched 0.06 pts lower to 428.75 points. The volume turnover meanwhile slumped below the 400 million mark to hit the lowest level so far during the month. 300.84 million shares changed hands — down 29.13 percent from the day before. It has soared past the 800 million mark on Feb 7th to hit a multi-month high.

The sector closed mostly in the positive territory. Industrials outpaced the rest with 0.78 percent rise whereas healthcare dropped over 2 percent, the worst performer of the day. Volume wise, real estate dominated with 37.61 percent market share and financial services stood close behind with 37.34 percent
United Projects Co spiked 40 fils to KD 0.630 while Contracting and Marine Services Co rose 10 fils. Combined Group Contracting Co gained 20 fils and Kuwait Food Co (Americana) followed suit to wind up at KD 1.840. Boubyan Petrochemical Co rose 10 fils and Kuwait Foundry Co was up by same measure. The company has notched a net profit of KD 173,477 and earnings per share 0.920 fils in 2012, down from KD 178,348 profit and 0.945 fils EPS in the year before. Bourse heavyweight Zain slipped 10 fils to KD 0.790 whereas Wataniya Telecom held the ground unchanged at KD 2.400 after pulling lower in the year before. Agility was down 10 fils at KD 0.560. The stock has rallied 70 fils from start of the month while year-to-date it has climbed 50 fils.

The market opened wavy and moved sideways in early trade. The index drifted slightly lower to trough at 6383.78 pts before resuming the range bound trading as investors toed caution. It however ticked higher in the final minutes and managed to close with modest gains. Top gainer of the day, Kuwait Gulf Links rallied 9.26 percent to KD 0.118 and United Real Estate Co climbed 7.6 percent to stand next. The company has posted a net profit of KD 22.52 million and earnings per share of 19.9 fils in 2012. Massaleh slid 5.32 percent, the biggest loser of the day, whereas Investors Holding Group topped the volume with 54.53 million shares changing hands during the session.

Mirroring the day’s gains, the winners slightly outnumbered the losers. 49 stocks advanced whereas 45 closed lower. Of the 148 counters active on Wednesday, 54 closed lower. 5953 deals worth KD 29.34 million were transacted — a 16.60 percent fall in value from the day before. Shuaiba Industrial Co rose 8 fils to KD 0.214 and Kuwait Portland Cement Co gained 20 fils to wind up at KD 1.140. Jazeera Airways however as flat at KD 0.385 off slight early highs. The carrier has chalked a net profit of KD 13.94 million and earnings per share of 38.37 fils in 2012. In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait trimmed early gains to close unchanged at KD 0.990 and Gulf Bank followed suit to end at KD 0.415. Gulf Bank 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 distribution of 5% bonus shares. Commercial Bank stagnated at KD 0.680 and Al Ahli Bank too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.510. Burgan Bank was flat at KD 0.540. The stock has erased 40 fils from start of the month while year-to-date it has added 10 fils.

Kuwait Finance House clipped 10 fils after trading over 1 million shares. The lender has posted 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. Boubyan Bank pulled up from early lows to close unchanged at KD 0.650 while Kuwait International Bank was up 5 fils at KD 0.300. Ahli United Bank held the ground steady at KD 0.820. Commercial Facilities Co rose 5 fils to KD 0.340 while International Financial Advisors was flat at 55 fils. National Investment Co fell 2 fils whereas KIPCO added 10 to the previous close. Kuwait Financial Centre Co (Markaz) was flat at KD 0.142.

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 International Financial Advisors was down 4 fils after trading 6.94 million shares and First Investment Co eased 2 fils to KD 0.116. Noor Financial Services Co stagnated at 59 fils and Al Tamdeen Investment Co followed suit. KAMCO ticked 2 fils higher.
National Industries Co held steady at KD 0.216 with a volume of 2.64 million shares and Gulf Cables too did not budge from its earlier close. Kuwait Pipes wiped off 2 fils while RISCO erased 5 fils. National Real Estate Co sagged 4 fils after trading 4.6 million shares and Union Real Estate climbed 10 fils. Mabanee Company closed flat.

The bourse has been mixed so far during the week and has climbed gained 7.18 pts in last four sessions. The index has rallied 159.71 pts from start of the month and is trading 7.93 percent higher year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Ahli United Bank has recorded a net profit of KD 4.36 million and earnings per share of 60 fils in 2012, up from KD 4.08 million profit and 56 fils EPS in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend payout of 16% plus 5% bonus shares.

Real Estate Asset Management Co. (REAM) has logged net profit of KD 673,099 and earnings per share of 6.47 fils in 2012 as against earnings of KD 520,904 and 5.01 fils EPS in the 2011. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend payout of 5% or 5 fils per share. Strategia Investment Co has registered a net profit of KD 10,514 and earnings per share of 0.07 fils as against KD 19,631 profit and 0.13 fils EPS in the year before.

By John Mathews - Arab Times Staff

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