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Kuwait benchmark ticks 5.7 pts up; volume falls Americana rallies 40 fils; Zain slips

KUWAIT  CITY, Dec 25: Kuwait stocks ticked up on Wednesday adding to the marginal gains in the last four sessions. The price index edged 5.7 pts higher to 7644.12 pts even as the market swayed between small gains and losses. The market continues to be cautious ahead of the year end and lack of catalysts too have dampened the mood.  The KSX 15 benchmark retreated 4.11 pts shrinking the 2013 gains to 64 pts while the weighted index inched 1.85 pts lower. The volume turnover meanwhile contracted by 7.58 percent to 269 million after rebounding in the previous session. It had hit a multi-month high earlier in the month but has been largely anemic in the recent weeks.

The sectors closed mixed. Insurance outshone the rest with 0.82 percent gain whereas banks slipped 0.80 pct, the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, financial services accounted for the highest market share of 49.01 pct and real estate came in next with 26.30 percent.  Among notable gainers, Kuwait Food Co (Americana) rallied 40 fils to KD 2.460 and Kout Food Group too was up by same measure at KD 0.780. Independent Petroleum Group climbed 15 fils and Humansoft Holding was up by same measure.

ALAFCO rose 5 fils to KD 0.270 and Yiaco Medical Co followed suit to settle at KD 0.355. National Industries Group, the flagship company of Kharafi Group took in 2 fils adding to the gains in the day before and Metal and Recycling Co was up by same measure. Telecom major Zain fell 10 fils to KD 0.690 after clocking a volume of 1.88 million and Wataniya Telecom shed 20 fils partly erasing the gains in the day before. Agility was down 10 fils at KD 0.690 and the stock has rallied 180 fils so far in the year.

Flat
The market opened flat and fell briefly into the red in early trading. The index clawed back amid buying interest in some of the mid and small caps and peaked at 7660.11 pts almost half way into the session. It sagged again and slipped below the opening mark before ticking higher into the positive territory at close.  Top gainer of the day, Warba insurance Co spiked over 7 percent to 122 fils and Al Themar International Holding climbed 5.77 percent to stand next. Taiba Kuwait Holding Co slid 14.29 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Gulf Finance House topped the volume with over 83 million shares. The market spread was skewed towards the gainers. 55 stocks advanced whereas 44 closed lower. Of the 141 counters active on Wednesday, 42 closed flat. 5043 deals worth KD 23.76 million were transacted - a 21.73 percent drop in value from the day before.

Earlier on Monday, Kuwait’s constitutional court upheld the legitimacy of 2013 Parliament and thereby laid to rest fears of fresh political turmoil.  “The parliament can serve a normal term of four years after the court legitimised the elections - this is a first in many years and will provide the stability needed for the development plan to move forward,” Reuters quoted Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House.

On the flip side, Kuwait Cement Co shed 25 fils wiping off the gains in the day before and Kuwait Portland Co retreated 20 fils to KD 1.380. Safwan Trading and Contracting Co slid 25 fils and IFA Hotels and Resorts gave up 10 fils to settle at KD 0.275.  Kuwait Gulf Links eased 2 fils to KD 0.104 whereas KGL Logistics Company closed flat. The company has won the approval of Capital Markets Authority to its request to buy back or sell up to 10% of own shares over a period of 6 months commencing date of approval. Jazeera Airways held the ground unchanged at KD 0.495 and Equipment Holding Co too did not budge from the earlier close of KD 0.144. Kuwait Foundry Co held steady at KD 0.400 and Gulf Cable followed suit.

Lows
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was unchanged at KD 0.900 off early lows and the counter saw over 1 million shares change hands. The bank has announced the retirement of the CEO Ibrahim Dabdoub earlier last week. Gulf Bank was down 10 fils at KD 0.370  Commercial Bank of Kuwait shed 20 fils and Al Ahli Bank paused at KD 0.475 off early lows. Kuwait International Bank slipped 5 fils to KD 0.295 while Burgan Bank and Kuwait Finance House were both down 10 fils . Boubyan Bank skidded 20 fils partly erasing the gains in the day before.

Kuwait Investment Co took in 2 fils whereas International Financial Advisors flunked 2 fils. National Investments Company closed flat. The company has won the approval of Capital Markets Authority to the company’s request to buy back or sell up to 10% of own shares over a period of 6 months  KIPCO fell 10 fils to KD 0.610 and Bayan Investment Co followed suit with a volume of 4.2 million. Osoul Investment stagnated at 87 fils and Kuwait Financial Centre ( Markaz) followed suit.  Noor Financial Investment rose 2 fils and Al Deera Holding inched 1 fils lower after trading 3.4 million shares. Mabanee Co climbed 20 fils and Al Mazaya Holding took in 2 fils.

The bourse has been trending higher so far during the week and has gained 39 points in the last 4 sessions. The index has shed 142 points from start of the month and is trading over 28 percent higher year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Kuwait Insurance Company has won the approval for its request to buy back or sell up to 10% of own shares over a period of 6 months. Warba Bank announced has logged a net loss of KD 3.12 million in the nine-month period ending Sept 30, 2013 and chalked a loss per share of 3.12 fils as against KD 2.06 net loss and and loss per share of 2.07 fils in the same period last year.

Independent Petroleum Group has posted a net profit of KD 4.35 million in the first nine months of 2013 while earnings per share came in at 30.10 fils. This compares with KD 5.07 million net profit and earnings per share of 35.10 fils in the same period last year.  Advanced Technology has logged a net profit of KD 3.34 million and earnings per share of 22.304 fils in the nine-month period ending Sep 30, 2013, up from KD 2.90 million and earnings per share of 19.341 fils in the same period last year. Kuwait National Cinema has notched a net profit of KD 6.13 million earnings per share of 61.74 fils in the nine-month period ending September 2013, soaring from KD 4.73 million profit and earnings per share of 47.43 fils in the 9M period of 2012.

By John Mathews
Arab Times Staff


By: John Mathews

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