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Kuwait index nudges higher; volume jumps Zain gains 10 fils; KFH slips

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 6: Kuwait stocks nudged higher Wednesday, extending the gains to third straight session. The price index pared early losses to close 5.66 pts up at 7,172.45 points. The trading was lackluster even as the heavyweights closed mixed in absence of catalysts. The KSX 15 benchmark eased 1.18 pts to 1,189.11 points paring the year’s gains to 137 pts while weighted index edged 0.54 pts lower. The volume turnover meanwhile bounced back above the 100 million mark after receding on Tuesday. 123.40 million shares changed hands — a 27 pct jump from the day before.
 
The sectors closed mostly mixed. Oil and gas outshone the rest with 0.54 pct rise whereas telecommunications slipped 1.43 percent, the biggest loser of the day. Volume wise, financial services garnered the highest market share of 42.54 pct while oil and gas and real estate followed with 23.56 percent and 10.63 percent respectively. Among notable gainers, sector bellwether National Bank of Kuwait climbed 10 fils to KD 0.980 recouping the loss in the previous session and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait was up by same measure to end at KD 0.425 with a volume of over 1 million. Boubyan Bank too added 10 fils to wind up at KD 0.520.
 
ACICO Industries climbed 25 fils to KD 0.340 while Hilal Cement Co and Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing and Trading Co were up 10 fils each. Real Estate Asset Management Co too rose 10 fils and Noor Financial Center added 6 fils to settle at KD 0.116. Bourse heavyweight Zain slipped 10 fils to KD 0.650 whereas Wataniya Telecom held the ground steady at KD 1.540. Agility retreated 20 fils to settle at KD 0.810 and the stock is trading 120 fils higher year-to-date. 
 
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The market opened flat and moved sideways in early trade. It eased and slipped below the red almost half way into the session as sentiment turned weak and hit the day’s lowest level of 7145.17 pts. It clawed back thereafter and managed to close in the positive territory.  Top gainer of the day, Credit Rating and Collection Co (Tahsillat) rallied 8.77 percent to 62 fils while REAM was closed behind with 8.47 percent gain. Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate Co slid 8.57 pct, the steepest decliner of the day, and Safat Energy Tech topped the volume with over 20 million shares. 
 
Mirroring the day’s mixed mood, the market spread was almost even. 44 stocks advanced while 42 closed lower. Of the 138 counters active on Wednesday, 52 closed flat. 3524 deals worth KD 14.8 million were transacted — a 1.52 pct fall in value from the day before.  National Industries Group, the flagship company of Kharafi Group, took in 2 fils on back of 1.26 million shares and IFA Hotels and Resorts followed suit to close at KD 0.222. 
 
ALAFCO was unchanged at KD 0.260 off slight early lows and Jazeera Airways Co too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.460. The company has clocked a net profit of KD 4.888 million and earnings per share of 11.64 fils in the H1 of 2014, as compared to KD 7.491 million profit and earnings per share of 17.84 fils in the first half of last year. Gulf Cable was flat at KD 0.770 and Soor Fuel Marketing Co. The company has posted a net profit of KD 2.506 million and earnings per share of 6.56 fils in January-June period of 2014, down from net profit of KD 3.004 million and earnings per share of 7.86 fils in the same period last year. 
 
Kuwait Portland Cement Co was steady at KD 1.400 off early lows and Kuwait Foundry Company followed suit. 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. Humansoft climbed 5 fils to KD 0.400. Mabanee Co stagnated at KD 1.000 after trading 1.3 million shares whereas Mazaya Holding Co clipped 2 fils. United Real Estate Co paused at KD 0.104. The company has posted a net profit of KD 3.511 million and earnings per share of 3.28 fils , down from KD 5,968 million profit and earnings per share of 5.41 fils in the same period of 2013.
 
On the downside, Humansoft shed 15 fils whereas United Projects Group dived 40 fils to KD 0.700. City Group gave up 5 fils and Gulf Glass Manufacturing Co tumbled 40 fils. Boubyan Petrochemicals Co pulled 10 fils lower at KD 0.760 while Kuwait National Cinema dropped 30 fils. In the banking sector, Commercial Bank dived 40 fils whereas Kuwait International Bank added 10 fils to close at KD 0.320. The bank has logged a net profit of KD 8.890 million and earnings per share of 9.52 fils in the January-June period, up from KD 6 million profit and earnings per share of 6.43 fils in the first half of 2013. 
 
Burgan Bank was unchanged at KD 0.530 whereas Kuwait Finance House slipped 10 fils to KD 0.820. Ahli United Bank was flat at KD 0.650 and Gulf Bank too did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.345. 
Kuwait Investment Co eased 4 fils to KD 0.156 whereas National Investment Co edged 2 fils higher to KD 0.150. KIPCO was unchanged at KD 0.730 and KAMCO followed suit.  Bayan Investment Co fell 2 fils while KMEFIC paused at 51 fils. Securities Group rose 4 fils whereas Ektitab Holding clipped 2 fils. Al Deera Holding was steady at 31 fils. 
 
The bourse has been moderately positive so far during the week and has gained 42 points in last four sessions. The market had climbed 160 points during the whole of July and is trading 4.99 pct lower year-to-date. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the corporate news, National Petroleum Services Co has recorded a net profit of KD 2.11 million and earnings per share of 37.77 fils in the first six months of 2014, up from KD 2.019 million profit and earnings per share of 36.26 fils in the same period last year.  Automated Systems Co. has recorded a net profit of KD 1.042 million and earnings per share of 26.03 fils in the first half ending June 30, 2014, as against KD 988,743 profit and earnings per share of 24.69 fils in the H1 of 2013. 
 
Kuwait Cable Vision Company has incurred a net loss of KD 117,759 and loss per share of 3.93 fils in the first half of 2013, narrowing from KD 176,657 loss and loss per share of 5.89 fils in the same period last year.  Kuwait Stock Exchange earlier last month suspended the following companies for various reasons: Al Maal Investment Co, Kuwait Pipes Industries and Oil Services Co, Al Dar National Real Estate Co, Manafae Investment Company, Taiba Kuwaiti Holding Co, Investors Holding Group Co, Kuwait Business Town Real Estate Co. and National Ranges Company.
 

By John Mathews

Arab Times Staff

By: John Mathews

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