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KSE index closes flat amid lackluster trade AUB sheds 40 fils; Zain unchanged

KUWAIT CITY, March 30: Kuwait stocks trod water Sunday after posting modest gains in the previous week. The benchmark inched 0.76 pts lower to 7,584 pts in lackluster trading to close at 7,584 points. 
Some of the banks were weighed by profit taking whereas select mid and small caps shined on speculative buying. The market, earlier last week, was buoyed by CMA’s soft stance on implementing strict corporate governance rules. The KSX 15 gauge retreated slightly after chalking strong gains in the last week. It edged 1.15 pts lower to 1,192.72 pts trimming the month’s gains to 91 points while weighted index eased 0.45 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile rose after receding in the last two sessions. Over 211 million shares change hands — a 19.87 pct rise from the last session. 
 
The sectors closed mixed. Technology outshone the rest with 0.54 percent upswing whereas consumer services shed 1.29 percent, the weakest performer of the day. In terms of volume, financial services garnered the highest market share of 35.42 pct while real estate and industrials followed with 29.90 percent and 12.13 pct respectively.  Among the notable losers Ahli United Bank dipped 40 fils to KD 0.750 while Commercial Bank was down 20 fils extending the losses from the previous session. Kuwait Finance House gave up 10 fils with a volume of 8.3 million and Gulf Bank followed suit to end at KD 0.370.  Kuwait Foundry Co shed 20 fils to end at KD 0.330 and Kuwait Co For Process Plant Construction and Contracting was down by same measure. National Industries Group, the flagship company of Kharafi Group fell 5 fils to end at KD 0.255 and the counter saw almost 5 million shares change hands.
 
Steady 
Among the frontline stocks, Zain held steady at KD 0.680 after vacillating in a narrow range with a volume of over 6.2 million shares and Wataniya Telecom too paused at KD 1.740. Agility added 20 fils with brisk trading to wind up at KD 0.770 and has rallied 90 fils so far during the month. The market opened flat and moved sideways in early trade. The index hit the day’s highest level of 7594.18 points and continued to tread a linear trajectory thereafter as investors toed caution. It edged lower in the second half and troughed at 7563.1 pts in the final minutes before paring back most of the losses at close . 
 
Top gainer of the day, Kuwait Remal Real Estate Co spiked 10 percent to KD 0.110 while Al Mudon climbed 8.62 pct to stand next. Al Nawadi Holding Co plunged over 8 percent, steepest decliner of the day, and Al Mudon topped the volume with 8.62 million shares. 
Reflecting the day’s trend the winners and losers were almost evenly poised. 50 stocks advanced whereas 48 closed lower. Of the 157 counters active on Sunday, 59 closed flat. 4,796 deals worth KD 42.78 million were transacted — a 10.18 percent rise in value from the day before. 
IFA Hotels and Resorts fell 10 fils and Egypt Kuwait Holding Co closed 5 fils lower. Egypt Kuwait Holding climbed 7.14 pct to stand next. 
 
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
Gulf Cables was flat at KD 0.780 and Kuwait Cement Co followed suit. The company has registered a net profit of KD 17.16 million and earnings per share of 26.14 fils in the year ending Dec 31, 2013.The Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of 18 %.
Combined Group Contracting Co was unchanged at KD 1.160 off early highs and Automated Systems Co too did not budge from its earlier close of 0.KD 0.480. The company has posted a net profit of KD 1.48 million and earnings per share of 37.17 fils in the year ending 2013 as against net profit of KD 4.04 million and earnings per share of 101.08 fils in the year before period.
 
Rallied
On the upside, Kuwait Portland Cement gained 20 fils while Kuwait Food Co (Americana) rallied 40 fils to KD 2.540 and Mashaer Holding Co was up 8 fils at KD 0.255. City Group jumped 25 fils to KD 0.445 and Humansoft Holding followed suit to close at KD 0.370.
ACICO Industries Co rose 5 fils while NICBM and Metal and Recycling Co took in 2 fils each. Jazeera Airways was steady at KD 0.460 and ALAFCO too did not budge from its earlier close of 0.255. Kuwait Gulf Links stagnated at KD 0.100 off early lows. 
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 1.000 whereas Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait gained 20 fils. Burgan Bank was flat at KD 0.570 and Boubyan Bank followed suit. Kuwait International Bank eased 5 fils . 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 was unchanged at KD 0.162 and National Investment Co ticked 2 fils higher. KFIC rose 3 fils whereas KIPCO and KAMCO closed flat at KD 0.710 and KD 0.126 respectively. Noor Financial Investment Co closed 4 fils higher . 
 
The bourse was largely upbeat during last week. The index closed higher in three of the five sessions and climbed 27 points week-on-week. The price index has shed 108 pts from start of the month and is up 0.47 pct year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
In the bourse related news, Kuwait and Middle East Finance Investment Company edged 2 fils lower. The company has logged a net profit of KD 1.160 million and earnings per share of 4.4 fils in 2013, as compared to KD 1.164 million loss and loss per share of 4.5 fils in the previous year. 
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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