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Kuwait market slightly higher; volume anemic

ABK climbs 24 fils; Zain slips

KUWAIT CITY, May 16: Kuwait stocks ticked higher on Wednesday extending last session’s gains. The All Shares Index rose 3.55 points in sluggish trade to 4,815.46 pts paced by Jazeera Airways and Al Ahli Bank even as the trading board remained mixed ahead of the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The Premier Market fell 4.6 pts to 4,775.99 points while Main Market climbed 18.3 pts to 4,885.78 points, The volume turnover meanwhile turned markedly anemic as investors toed caution. Over 39 million shares changed hands — a 25 pct drop from the day before, The sectors closed mixed. Consumer goods outpaced the rest with 1.23 percent gain whereas technology tumbled 25 pct, the steepest decliner of the day.

Volume wise, financial services notched the highest market share of 35.5 percent and real estate followed with over 23 pct contribution. In the individual shares, Al Ahli Bank soared 24 fils to 339 fils and Boubyan Bank climbed 6 fils to 488 fils. Jazeera Airways rallied 35 fils extending Tuesday’s upswing and Humansoft Holding dropped 11 fils to KD 3.590.

Zain fell 4 fils to 381 fils after trading over 2.4 million shares and Ooredoo was down 10 fils at 865 fils taking the month’s losses to 35 fils. Kuwait Telecommunications Co (VIVA) climbed 12 fils to 715 fils and Agility added 4 fils to settle at 758 fils. National Bank of Kuwait stood pat at 739 fils after trading over 1.3 million shares and Gulf Bank of Kuwait clipped 1 fil.

The bank logged a 15.5% year-on-year increase in its profits to KD 10.81 in the first quarter of 2018 compared to KD 9.36 million in Q1 of 2017. The market opened tame and moved sideways in early trade. The index drifted lower thereafter as the trading floor sentiment weakened and plumbed the day’s lowest level of 4,796 points past the mid-session. It however revved up in the final minutes and managed to close in the green turf. Top gainer of the day, UNICAP vaulted 15.5 pct to 60.8 fils and BIIHC climbed 8.2 percent to stand next. Automated Systems Co tumbled 22 pct, the steepest decliner of the day and Kuwait Real Estate Co topped the volume with over 4 million shares.

Despite the day’s uptick, the losers outnumbered the winners. 40 stocks advanced and 47 closed lower. Of the 114 counters active on Wednesday, 27 closed fl at. 2,370 deals worth KD 6.8 million were transacted — down 27 pct in value from the day before. National Industries Group fell 2 fils to 161 fils and Gulf Cable ticked 1 fil into red. Boubyan Petrochemical Co too eased 1 fil into 161 fils and Al Qurain Petrochemical Co gave up 4 fils before closing at 342 fils. Mezzan Holding slipped 5 fils to 710 fils. Kuwait Foundry Co paused at 247 fils and NAPESCO partly reversed last session’s gains with 15 fils drop to 735 fils. Kuwait Portland Cement dropped 14 fils to KD 1.075 and ACICO Industries gave up 5 fils to settle at 230 fils.

Automated Systems Co dived 34 fils to 115 fils and Equipment Holding Co ticked 0.8 fil into green. NICBM climbed 8 fils to 193 fils and KPPC trimmed 0.3 fil.

UPAC slipped 3 fils to 690 fils. Heavy Engineering Industries and Shipbuilding Co dialed up 2 fils to close at 324 fils while Combined Group Contracting Co held ground at 455 fils. Al Rai Media Group was up 3.7 fils at 104 fils and Inovest paused at 69.5 fils.

The company’s first quarter profit has dipped 64.6 percent to $2.9 million compared to $8.2 million in the same month a year ago. Earnings per share stood at $1.06. In the banking sector, Kuwait Finance House fell 3 fils to 520 fils after trading over 1 million shares while Kuwait International Bank inched 1 fil into green.

Al Mutahed dropped 3 fils to 280 fils and Warba Bank took in 1 fil. Burgan Bank was unchanged at 262 fils and Commercial Bank of Kuwait was not traded during the session. KIPCO fell 1 fil to 248 fils whereas KMEFIC and Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) were fl at at 25 fils and 102 fils respectively whereas Kuwait Investment Co clipped 2 fils. Securities House took in 0.4 fil. International Financial Advisors inched 0.2 fil higher and Coast Investment trimmed 0.5 fil to close at 31.9 fils. Al Mal Investment ticked 0.1 fil up and Bayan Investment added 1.7 fils.

KFIC paused at 44.5 fils. Osoul Investment amd Al Imtiaz were fl at at 60.5 fils and 131 fils respectively whereas Al Deera Holding tripped 0.4 fil. Al Madina clipped 0.5 fil and Amwal Investment gave up 2.7 fils.

Gulf Insurance stood pat at 640 fils off early lows. Mabanee Co rose 3 fils to 642 fils and National Real Estate slipped 5 fils to 109 fils. Mazaya Holding slipped 4 fils to 92 fils and Salhiya Real Estate stalled at 335 fils. Kuwait Real Estate edged 0.7 fil into green. The market has been largely weak so far during the week falling 14 points in last four sessions but has gained 15 pts from start of the month. Boursa Kuwait, with 176 listed stocks, is the second largest market in the region.

In the bourse related news, Mabanee Co has registered a marginal 0.91% year-on-year rise in profits first quarter profits to KD 12.17 million as against KD 12.06 million during first three months of 2017.

Earnings per share stood at 12.42 fils. Total assets swelled by 12.9 pct to KD 815.9 million by the end of March 2018. Al Ahleia Insurance’s profits has recorded a 1.5 pct drop to KD 2.84 million during the first quarter of 2018 compared to KD 2.88m for the same period last year.

Operational income rose by 17 percent to KD 23.67 mln. Boubyan Petrochemical has acquired 1.06 million shares in Educational Holding Group for KD 0.308 per share, for a total value of about KD 327,200 taking the total stake to 82.52% from 82.09 pct, Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) has registered a 26.7 pct jump in profits to KD 2.18 million during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017.

Earnings per share stood at 12.03 fils as against 11.58 fils in first quarter of last year. Educational Holding Group has incurred a loss of KD 2.66 million during the first six months that ended on Feb 28, 2018 as compared to profits of KD 3.18 million in the corresponding period last year. The operating profits stood at KD 3.77 million, a 17% higher increase fro the same period in 2017.

By John Mathews Arab Times Staff

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