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Kuwait bourse swoons to year’s lowest mark Wataniya Telecom dives 60 fils; NBK flat

KUWAIT CITY, March 3: Kuwait stocks swooned Monday as the punitive actions by CMA against spurious trading triggered a sell-off by investors. The index tumbled 146.9 pts in a broad decline to hit the year’s lowest level of 7493.65 pts. The decline was led by small and mid caps even as most of the banks remained muted. The KSX 15 benchmark dipped 6.59 pts to 1091.88 pts trimming the year’s gain to almost 40 pts whereas the weighted index was down 3.52 points. The volume turnover meanwhile rebounded after receding in the last two sessions. Over 218 million shares changed hands — a 54.4 percent surge from the day before.  All the sectors closed in the red. Technology dived 3.49 pct, the worst performer of the day while consumer goods was the least decliner with 0.33 percent fall. Volume wise, financial services garnered the highest market share of 36.79 percent while real estate came in next with 32.28 percent. Industrials was a distant third registering a 13.84 pct contribution. 
 
Among prominent losers, Wataniya Telecom skidded 60 fils to KD 1.780 and Agility was down 20 fils reversing the gains in the day before. Zain vacillated in a close range before closing unchanged at KD 0.620 and the counter saw 2.23 million shares change hands.  Kuwait Hotels Co eased 10 fils to KD 0.118 and IFA Hotels and Resorts followed suit to wind up at KD 0.250. Automated Systems Co gave up 15 fils and Kuwait Resorts Co shed 9 fils. National Industries Group, the flagship company of the Kharafi Group, fell 4 fils to KD 0.104 after trading over 1 million shares.  ALAFCO slipped 5 fils and Jazeera Airways was down by same measure. The company has posted a net profit of KD 16.67 million and earnings per share of 39.70 fils in the year 2013 and the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 15 percent.
 
Slipped
The market opened weak and slipped below the red in early trade. The index moved sideways briefly before pulling sharply lower amid heavy selling in select counters. It held steady past the mid-session before drifting south to hit the lowest level of 7479.75 pts in the final minutes. The market however managed to pare back some of the losses at close.  Top gainer of the day, Contracting and Marine Services Co climbed 6.25 pct to 170 fils while UPAC rose 5.8 percent to stand next. Flex Resorts and Real Estate Co tanked 17.65 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, and Al Imitiaz topped the volume with 17.3 million shares.  Mirroring the day’s decline, the market spread was heavily skewed towards the losers. 15 stocks advanced whereas 104 closed lower. Of the 152 counters active on Monday, 33 closed flat. 5665 deals worth KD 24.18 million were transacted — a 13.43 percent increase in value from the day before. 
 
“The CMA has been active in the last few months and is cracking down on insider and illegitimate trading,” Reuters quoted Fouad Abdulrahman Alhadlaq, deputy general manager at Al Dar Asset Management. “It has suspended a few big speculators and they can’t buy and sell in the market.” 
NICBM fell 2 fils to KD 0.202 and United Industries Co followed suit. The company has posted a net profit of KD 28.08 million and earnings per share of 62.70 fils in the year ending Jan 31, 2013. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 25 %.  Kuwait Gulf Links clipped 2 fils after trading 1.3 million shares whereas Equipment Holding Co was up 6 fils on back of 4.5 million shares. 
The company has clocked a net profit of KD 2.96 million and earnings per share of 21.74 fils in 2013 rebounding from net loss of KD 1.56 million and loss per share of 11.50 fils last year. 
On the upside, Kuwait National Cinema climbed 30 fils and United Projects soared 40 fils. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) gained 20 fils and KGL Logistics added 4 fils to close at KD 0.172. Boubyan Petrochemicals Co rose 10 fils to KD 0.710 and Kuwait Portland Cement spiked 60 fils. 
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 0.980 off early lows and Gulf Bank followed suit. The bank has recorded a net profit KD 32.16 million and earnings per share of 12 fils in 2013 and the Board of Directors has recommended a dividend of 5 % bonus shares.
Al Ahli Bank retreated 15 fils whereas Ahli United Bank and Burgan Bank closed flat at KD 0.730 and KD 0.550 respectively. Commercial Bank of Kuwait was not traded during the session. Kuwait Finance House gave up 10 fils after trading 3.7 million shares and Boubyan Bank paused at KD 0.550. 
 
Steady
Kuwait Investment Co eased 2 fils while Commercial Facilities Co and International Financial Advisors erased 5 fils each. National Investment Co flunked 2 fils whereas KIPCO held steady at KD 0.670. Kuwait Financial Centre was down 4 fils at KD 0.150.  Al Aman Investment Co and Aayan Leasing slipped 5 fils each and Bayan Investment closed 4 fils lower. The company has posted a net profit of KD 983,626 and earnings per share of 2.74 fils in 2013 as against net loss of KD 6.31 million and loss per share of of 17.64 fils in the year before.  Al Deera Holding eased 5 fils and Sokouk Holding ticked 2 fils lower to KD 0.120. Noor Financial Investment erased 4 fils whereas KAMCO did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.120. Gulf Insurance Group was down 10 fils at KD 0.540. The bourse has been bearish so far during the week and has slid almost 200 pts in last two sessions. The main index had declined 63 points during whole of February and is down 0.74 pct year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Strategia Investment has posted a net profit KD 3.36 million and earnings per share of 13.75 fils in 2013, rebounding sharply from KD 10,514 profit and earnings per share of 0.07 fils in the year before.
 
Kuwait Pipes Industries and Oil Services has incurred a net loss of KD 10.16 million and loss per share of 45.10 fils in the nine-month period ending 30 Sept 2013, widening from KD 3.21 million loss and loss per share of 14.25 fils in the same period last year.  Mashaer Holding has posted a net profit of KD 3.64 million and earnings per share of 20 fils during 2013 as against KD 4.31 million profit and earnings per share of 25 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 15 %. Real Estate Asset Management has posted a net profit of KD 591,696 and e earnings per share of 5.69 fils in 2013 as compared to KD 673,099 profit and 6.47 fils EPS in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend payout of 5 pct. 
 

 By John Mathews

Arab Times Staff

 

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