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KSE slumps 49.11 pts on selling pressure Kuwait Portland Cement sheds 40 fils; NBK gains

KUWAIT CITY, March 13: Kuwait stocks pulled sharply lower on Thursday as move by CMA to impose strict rules to curb speculative trading spooked investors. The index slumped 49.11 pts to hit a six-month low of 7454.5 pts amid selling in some of the mid and low caps. The banks however shined on renewed buying interest from institutional buyers. The KSX 15 benchmark climbed 5.86 pts to 1097.54 points trimming the month’s losses to 4 pts whereas weighted index edged 0.86 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile rebounded after hitting a multi-month low in the day before. 174.51 million shares changed hands — a 62.44 pct surge from Wednesday.

The sectors closed mostly in the red. Banks outperformed the rest with 0.60 percent gain whereas parallel market slid 2.90 percent, the biggest loser of the day. Volume wise, financial market garnered the highest market share of 45.7 percent while real estate and stood next with 26.95 pct contribution. The market earlier in the month was weighed by CMA’s suspension of some of the listed stocks over non-compliance of rules and a row between Qatar and GCC majors. Among notable losers, Kout Food Group dived 50 fils to KD 0.780 and City Group shed 25 fils erasing the gains in the previous session. United Projects Group and Salhia Real Estate Co were down 10 fils each and Independent Petroleum Group gave up 5 fils to settle at KD 0.395. Kuwait Portland Cement tumbled 40 fils to KD 1.300 extending the losses from Wednesday and Kuwait Cement Co was down 5 fils at KD 0.385. National Industries Group, the flagship company of Kharafi Group edged 2 fils lower after trading over 2 million shares.

Bourse major Zain gave up slight early gains to close at KD 0.600 and Wataniya Telecom too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 1.820 off early lows. Agility was unchanged at KD 0.660 and has retreated 20 fils from start of the month. The market opened weak and fell sharply in early trade. The index continued to erode amid brisk selling in select counters and hit the day’s lowest level of 7,349.58 pts almost half-way into the session. Though it clawed back some of the losses in the second half, the bourse closed with hefty losses. Top gainer of the day, ACICO spiked 7.27 percent to KD 0.295 whereas Manafae Investment Co climbed 6.56 pct to stand next. Flex Resorts and Real Estate Co tumbled 42.86 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Gulf Finance House topped the volume with over 21 million shares changing hands.

Mirroring the day’s decline, the market spread was skewed towards the losers. 29 stocks advanced whereas 73 closed lower. Of the 150 counters active on Thursday, 48 closed flat. 4,442 deals worth KD 17.61 million were transacted — a 48.43 percent drop in value from the day before.
PAPCO dropped 8 fils and Boubyan Petrochemicals was down 10 fils at KD 0.700. The company has logged a net profit of KD 934,588 and earnings per share of 1.96 fils in the nine-month period ending January 31, 2014 down from KD 5.33 million and earnings per share of 11.12 fils in the year before period.
NICBM took in 2 fils whereas Equipment Holding flunked 2 fils to close at KD 0.162. 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.
Kuwait Gulf Links was flat at 99 fils with a volume of over 2 million and Gulf Cable followed suit. The company has posted a net profit of KD 9.96 million and earnings per share of 47 fils in 2013 and the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 30 fils.

On the upside, IFA Hotels and Resorts rose 2 fils and Jazeera Airways climbed 10 fils to KD 0.480. Contracting and Marine Services Co rose 6 fils to KD 0.180 and United Industries Co added 2 fils.
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait climbed 10 fils on back of 1.63 million shares and Commercial Bank too was up by same measure to close at KD 0.750. Gulf Bank was flat at KD 0.350 whereas Al Ahli Bank gained 5 fils. Ahli United Bank was steady at KD 0.720 while Kuwait International Bank closed 5 fils higher at KD 0.290. Burgan Bank retreated was up 10 fils at KD 0.840 recouping the fall in the previous session whereas Kuwait Finance House and Boubyan Bank were both unchanged at KD 0.840 and KD 0.540 respectively.

Kuwait Investment Co gained 8 fils with a volume of 1.41 million whereas International Financial Advisors and National Investment Co eased 2 fils each. KIPCO was flat at KD 0.700 off early lows and Securities House Co followed suit. Al Madar Finance and KMEFIC shed 4 fils each and Noor Financial Investment too followed suit to close at KD 0.122. Ekittab Holding and Sokouk Holding fell 2 fils each whereas Kuwait Financial Centre edged 2 fils up. National Real Estate Co dropped 4 fils whereas Mabanee Co bucked the trend to gain 20 fils.

The bourse charted a mixed trend during the week. It closed lower in 3 of the 5 session and shed 53 points week-on-week. The main index has slid 238 pts from start of the month and is down 1.26 pct year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
In the bourse related news, Kuwait Cable Vision has incurred a net loss of KD 361,886 and loss per share of 12.06 fils in 2013, as against net loss of KD 347,474 and loss per share of 11.58 fils in the previous year.

Kuwait National Cinema has logged a net profit of KD 7.94 million earnings per share of 80 fils in the year ending 2013 as compared to KD 5.54 million profit and earnings per share 55.55 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 49 fils.
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 %

By John Mathews
Arab Times Staff

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