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Kuwait price index slides 14.8 pts on profit booking Mabanee sheds 20 fils; NBK gains

KUWAIT CITY, March 23: Kuwait stocks sagged Sunday snapping the three-day advance. The price index gave up slight early gains to close 14.8 pts lower at 7,542.49 pts as profit taking weighed on mid and small caps. Some of the banks shined whereas other heavyweights remained muted. The bourse was upbeat during last week as investors reacted positively to the easing stance of CMA over implementing the new corporate rules. The KSX 15 benchmark rose 2.66 pts to 1148.49 points taking the month’s gain to 47 points while weighted index edged 1.52 pts higher to 474.89 points. The volume turnover meanwhile pulled sharply lower after hitting month’s high last week. 139.35 million shares changed hands — a 46.72 pct drop from the previous session.

The sectors closed mixed. Technology outled the rest with 0.46 pct rise whereas industrials slid 0.91 percent, the worst performer of the day. In terms of volume, financial services accounted for the highest market share of 41.71 percent while real estate and industrials followed with 25.25 percent and 11.62 percent respectively. Among the losers, National Consumer Holding Co dipped 40 fils to KD 0.114 while Automated Systems Co and Gulf Franchising Co eased 5 fils each. Credit Rating and Collection Co was down 4 fils at 86 fils while Ras Al Khayma For White Cement gave up 6 fils to settle at KD 0.142.  Equipment Holding Co fell 2 fils KD 0.160 while Mabanee Co shed 20 fils. The company has earned KD 47.91 million and chalked an earnings per share of 68.47 fils in 2013, up from KD 33.27 profit and earnings per share of 48.36 in the previous year. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 25 % in addition to 5 % bonus shares.

Unchanged
Telecom major, Zain was unchanged at KD 0.680 after trading 1.8 million shares and Wataniya Telecom too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 1.860 Agility pulled 30 fils lower to KD 0.680 erasing the gains in the last session. The market opened slightly weak and edged lower in early trading. The index recovered to hit the day’s highest level of 7569.47 pts but failed to hold on to the gains. It retreated thereafter as sentiment turned negative and bottomed at 7532.08 pts in final minutes before clawing some of the losses at close.  Top gainer of the day, Mushrif Trading and Contracting Co spiked 9.43 percent to KD 0.116 while Nafais climbed 6.76 pct to stand next. NCCI tumbled 25.97 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and BIHC topped the volume with over 10 million shares changing hands.
Reflecting the day’s retreat, the losers outnumbered the winners. 38 stocks advanced whereas 53 closed lower. Of the 144 counters active on Sunday, 53 closed flat. 3557 deals worth KD 19.39 million were transacted, a 54.59 percent drop in value from the previous session.

National Industries Group eased 0.91 percent after trading 1.61 million shares and Independent Petroleum Group shed 15 fils. The company has posted a net profit of KD 6.075 million and earnings per share of 42 fils in the year ending 2013 and the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of cash 30 %. Jazeera Airways slipped 5 fils to KD 0.465 and is trading 30 fils lower year-to-date while Kuwait Cable Vision inched 1 fils lower to 46 fils. Kuwait Gulf Links was unchanged 100 fils and ALAFCO too did not move in either direction.  Kuwait Portland Cement was flat at KD 1.360 off early highs and Gulf Cable followed suit to end at KD 0.790. The company has posted a net profit of KD 9.96 million and earnings per share of 47 fils in 2013 , down from KD 11.41 million profit and earnings per share of 54 fils in the year before. The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 30 fils.

On the flip side, Kuwait Resorts Co climbed 4 fils to KD 0.102 and Egypt Kuwait Holding Co gained 5 fils. The company has registered a net profit of KD 20.167 million and earnings per share of 24.02 fils in the year ending December 31, 2013, up from KD 18,9 million profit and earnings per share of 22.54 fils in the year before.  In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait rallied 20 fils to KD 1.020 and Gulf Bank added 5 fils to settle at KD 0.365. The bank has won Central Bank of Kuwait’s approval to buy back or sell up to a maximum of 10% of its issued shares over a period of 6 months. Commercial Bank rose 20 fils to KD 0.770 whereas Burgan Bank gave up 10 fils to end at KD 0.540 and is down 10 fils from start of the month. Boubyan Bank pulled 20 fils lower whereas Ahli United Bank was not traded during the day.
Kuwait Finance House was flat at KD 0.890 and Kuwait International Bank too was steady at KD 0.295. The bank has chalked a net profit of KD 13.20 million and earnings per share of 14.15 fils in the year ending Dec 31, 2013.

Kuwait Investment Co took in 2 fils while National Investment Co and KIPCO closed flat at KD 0.154 and KD 0.690 respectively. Securities Group Co and Bayan Investment Co eased 2 fils and 1 fils respectively whereas KAMCO closed unchanged at KD 0.126.  Noor Financial Investment gave up 4 fils while Al Tamdeen Investment and Alsalam Group Holding flunked 2 fils each. Kuwait Real Estate gained 3 fils and National Real Estate Co rose 4 fils to end at KD 0.148.  The bourse has been largely buoyant during last week. It closed higher in four of the five sessions and gained 103 pts week-on-week. The main index has shed 150 pts from start of the month and is down 0.09 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 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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