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Kuwait index swoons as investors nervous Gulf Glass dives 50 fils; NIG flat

KUWAIT CITY, June 8: Kuwait stocks swooned Sunday extending the losses to fourth straight session. The price index tanked 104.37 pts , in a broad decline to 7,233 pts , the biggest single day drop in 90 days. The blue chips paced the day’s fall and most of the mid and small caps too saw moderate to steep losses. The trading floor turned nervy following call by some of the opposition politicians for a gathering near parliament to highlight what they described as government’s failures.  The KSX 15 benchmark dived 12.13 pts to 1,191.71 points taking the month’s losses to 18 pts while weighted index shed 4.83 points. The volume turnover meanwhile rose for the fourth consecutive session. Over 175 million shares changed hands — up 15.58 pct from Thursday.

Among heavy losers, Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co tumbled 50 fils to KD 0.610 with thin trading and Kuwait National Cinema Co was down by same measure. Kuwait Food Co (Americana) dropped 20 fils to KD 2.840 and Mabanee Co followed suit with a volume of 1.31 million shares. Boubyan Petrochemicals Co shed 10 fils while Gulf Cable was down 20 fils at KD 0.770. The company has chalked a net profit of KD 6.801 million and earnings per share of 32 fils in the January-March period, soaring from net profit of KD 2.351 million earnings per share of 11 fils in the Q1 of 2013. Bourse heavyweight Zain slipped 10 fils to KD 0.670 with a volume of 2.58 million and Wataniya Telecom dropped 20 fils erasing the gains in the previous session. Agility was down 20 fils at KD 0.830 and the counter saw 1.45 million shares change hands.

The market opened weak and fell sharply in early trade. The main index continued to drift lower amid negative sentiment and hit the day’s lowest level of 7,206.93 pts. It however managed to claw back marginally in the final minutes and closed with hefty losses.  Top gainer of the day, National Consumer Holding Co spiked 14.71 pct to 78 fils and Gulf Franchising Co climbed 7.25 pts to stand next. International Resorts Co skidded 7.81 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, and Kuwait Business Town topped the volume with 11.29 million shares. Mirroring the day’s tumble, the market spread was skewed towards the losers. 12 stocks advanced whereas 93 closed lower. Of the 124 counters active on Sunday, 19 closed flat. 4364 deals worth KD 22.95 million were transacted — a 30.98 percent jump in value from the day before.

The latest move by some of the opposition leaders has raised the specter of a renewal of protests seeking political reforms. “There has been in the past few weeks a weakness on the market in terms of liquidity,” Reuters quoted Fouad Abdulrahman Alhadlaq, deputy general manager at Al Dar Asset Management. “When this came in, it was just a catalyst for the market to go down”.  Among other losers, Jazeera Airways gave up 5 fils to close at KD 0.440 and Automated Systems Co followed suit. Kuwait Building Material Manufacturing Co pulled 10 fils lower with thin trading.

Salbookh Trading Co eased 5 fils to 69 fils and PetroGulf followed suit to end at 78 fils after clocking a volume of over 6 million. Kuwait Foundry Company fell 5 fils. The company has won the approval of Capital Markets Authority’s to buy back or sell up to a maximum of 10% of its shares for 6 months. National Industries Group was flat at KD 0.248 off early lows with a volume of 2.22 million and Kuwait Cement too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.430. ALAFCO pared back early losses to close steady at KD 0.265.ACICO Industries Co took in 2 fils whereas Equipment Holding Co slipped 6 fils. Jeeran Holding fell 4 fils whereas United Industries Group nudged 2 fils higher. The company has won the Capital Markets Authority approval to the company’s request to buy back or sell up to 10% of own shares over a period of 6 months.

In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait dropped 10 fils to KD 0.980 and Gulf Bank closed 5 fils higher recouping the loss in the previous session. Commercial Bank of Kuwait was not traded during the day.  Ahli United Bank was unchanged at KD 0.430 and Al Ahli Bank too pulled up from early losses to close flat at KD 0.430. The bank has got the nod from Central Bank of Kuwait to extend its approval to buy back or sell up to a maximum of 10% of its shares for another 6 months. Kuwait International Bank stagnated at KD 0.305 while Burgan Bank gave up 10 fils to settle at KD 0.305. Kuwait Finance House too was down 10 fils with a volume of 3.99 million shares whereas Boubyan Bank paused at KD 0.530.

Kuwait Investment Co slipped 4 fils to KD 0.156 while International Financial Advisors and National Investment Co were down 2 fils each. KIPCO recovered slight early losses to close unchanged at KD 0.740 and Securities House Co retreated 5 fils.  KFIC dropped 5 fils to 79 fils while Sokouk Holding Co and Bayan Investment Co gave up 4 fils each. Noor Financial Investment Co gave up 6 fils and Gulf Insurance Co shed 20 fils.

The bourse was mixed during last week. It closed lower in three of the five sessions and climbed 46 pts week-on-week. It has shed 58 pts so far during the month and is trading 4.19 pct lower year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Al-Enmaa Real Estate Co. has clocked a profit of KD 1.933 million and earnings per share of 4.29 fils in the six-months period ending April 30, 2014, soaring from KD 939,377 profit and þ earnings per share of 2.09 fils in the same period last year.

Al Dar National Real Estate has incurred a net loss of KD 924,421 and loss per share of 2.25 fils in the quarter ending March 31, 2014 as against net profit of KD 12,566 and earnings per share of 0.03 fils in the same period last year. Metal and Recycling has recorded a net profit of KD 156,452 and earnings per share of 2.09 fils in the three-month period ending March 31, 2014, rebounding from a net loss of KD 54,285 and loss per share 0.72 fils in the Q1 of 2013. Union Real Estate Company has posted a net profit of KD 305,694 and earnings per share of 1.64 fils in the quarter ending March 31, 2014, slightly down from KD 325,634 profit and earnings per share of 1.75 fils in the same period last year.  Strategia Investment has clocked a net profit of KD 347,622 and earnings per share of 1.16 fils in the January-March period, rising from KD 284,288 profit and earnings per share of 1.90 fils in the first quarter of 2013.

By John Mathews
Arab Times Staff

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