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Kuwait bourse climbs 21.4 pts; volume tapers United Projects soars 50 fils; Wataniya Telecom retreats

KUWAIT CITY, March 20: Kuwait stocks chalked modest gains Thursday to end the week on a positive note. The bourse climbed 21.4 pts in volatile trade to close at 7,557.29 pts led by banks and other heavyweights. The overall sentiment was upbeat amid easing fears over Ukraine and hopes of more foreign investment as KSE emerged as the biggest frontier market. The KSX 15 measure rallied 22.29 points to hit a record high of 1,145.83 pts and has gained 93 points year-todate while weighted index rose 4.76 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile receded from the month’s high in the previous session. 261.56 million shares changed hands — a 32.77 pct drop from the day before. The sectors closed mostly in the positive territory. Consumer goods outshone with 1.68 pct upswing whereas technology shed 0.54 percent, the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, financial services garnered the highest market share of 35.03 pct while real estate came in next with 30.36 percent contribution. Among gainers, United Projects Group soared 50 fils to KD 0.790 and Safwan Trading and Contracting Co rose 20 fils with thin trading. ACICO Industries Co pulled 10 fils higher and United Industries Co was up 6 fils. National Industries Group climbed 6 fils on back of 10.5 million shares. Mabanee Co gained 20 fils to wind up at KD 1.160 and Egypt Kuwait Holding followed suit. The company has registered a net profit of KD 20.167 million and earnings per share of 24.02 fils in the year ending Dec 31, 2013, up from KD 18.9 million profit and earnings per share of 22.54 fils in the year before.

Climbed Telecom major Zain climbed 10 fils on back of 2.11 million shares to KD 0.680 whereas Wataniya Telecom shed 40 fils partly erasing the surge in the day before. Agility climbed 20 fils to KD 0.710 and the counter saw 1.72 million shares change hands. The market opened firm and edged higher in early trade. The index hit the day’s highest level of 7,563.79 pts helped by buying in select counters but failed to hold on to the gains. It troughed at 7,525.1 pts ahead of the mid-session and clawed back above the red before closing with modest gains. Top gainer of the day, Future Kid Entertainment and Real Estate Co leapt 7.27 percent to KD 0.170 and Kuwait Hotels was close behind with 7.25 pct rise. Nafais Holding Company dipped 6.33 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Investors Holding Group topped the volume with over 20 million shares. Mirroring the day’s gain, the winners outnumbered the losers. 57 stocks advanced whereas 44 closed lower. Of the 157 counters active on Thursday, 56 closed flat. 5,971 deals worth KD 42.71 million were transacted — a 9.29 percent fall in value from the previous session. Kuwait Hotels rose 10 fils to KD 0.148 while Zima Holding and PAPCO added 4 fils each. Boubyan International Industries Holding Co was up 4 fils at KD 0.104 while Independent Group Co and Gulf Franchising Holding Co gained 5 fils each. On the downside, Gulf Cables dropped 10 fils to KD 0.790 and Kuwait Portland Cement retreated 20 fils. Kuwait Foundry Co slipped 5 fils. The company has notched a net profit of KD 2.22 million and earnings per share of 14.45 fils in 2013 as against KD 1.09 million profit and earnings per share of 7.12 fils in the previous year. City Group slipped 20 fils to KD 0.445 and Burgan Well Drilling gave up 4 fils. The firm has recorded a net profit of KD 1.89 million in the 9-month period ending Dec 31, 2013. This compares with net profit of KD 1.28 million and 6.15 EPS in the same period last year. Jazeera Airways eased 5 fils to KD 0.470 and KGL Logistics fell 4 fils. Combined Group Contracting Co and ALAFCO closed flat. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) was steady at KD 2.480.

Higher In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait rose 20 fils to KD 1.000 on back of 9.9 million shares and Gulf Bank closed 10 fils higher. Commercial Bank was down 20 fils at KD 0.750 whereas Al Ahli Bank climbed 15 fils Ahli United Bank rose 20 fils to KD 0.750 and Burgan Bank was up by same measure with a volume of 4.8 million. Kuwait International Bank held the ground unchanged at KD 0.300 off early lows and Boubyan Bank too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.530. Kuwait Finance House rallied 20 fils The lender has recorded a net profit of KD 115.89 million and earnings per share of 32.69 fils in the year 2013, marking a sharp increase from KD 87.67 million profit and EPS of 26.47 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 13 percent in addition to 13 percent bonus shares. Kuwait Investment Co rose 4 fils to KD 0.156 whereas International Financial Advisors inched 1 fil lower after trading over 10 million shares. National Investment Co took in 2 fils whereas KIPCO closed flat at KD 0.690. Bayan Investment Co fell 3 fils to 97 fils whereas Osoul Investment Co and KFIC flunked 1 fil each. Sokouk Holding Co eased 2 fils whereas KAMCO closed flat. The company has obtained Capital Markets Authority’s approval to buy back or sell up to a maximum of 10 percent of its shares over a period of 6 months. Tamdeen Investment Co nudged 2 fils higher whereas Tamdeen Real Estate Co was up 5 fils at KD 0.255. National Real Estate Co was unchanged at KD 0.144 off early lows. The bourse has been largely upbeat during the week. It closed higher in three of the five sessions and gained 103 pts week-on-week. The main index has shed 135 pts from start of the month and is up 0.1 pct year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Al Madar Finance and Investment has recorded a net profit of KD 3.58 million and earnings per share of 17.34 fils in 2013, rebounding from KD 7.60 million loss and loss per share of 36.73 fils in the previous year. 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 Sept 30, 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 percent.

By: John Mathews Arab Times Staff

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