KUWAIT CITY, Oct 5: Kuwait stocks retreated sharply on Thursday to end the week on a sour note amid rising speculation. The price index declined 30.45 points in a lackluster trade to 6,662.11 points as the boards remained mixed.
The KSX-15 benchmark rose 5.2 points to 1,028.73 points while the weighted index inched up 0.86 points. The volume turnover meanwhile swelled past the 200 million mark after a strong rebound in the previous session. 211.8 million shares changed hands, a rise of 31.78 percent from Wednesday.
The sectors diverged during this session. Parallel market outshone the rest with 1.75 percent gain while technology sank 2.66 percent to end the day as the weakest performer after rising sharply in the last session. In terms of volume, financial services mustered the highest market share of 42.85 percent while real estate and telecommunications trailed far behind with 18.36 percent and 15.60 percent contributions respectively.
Top gainer of the day, Effect Real Estate Co surged 19.92 percent and Al Masaken International Real Estate Development Co stood next with 11.27 percent gain. Nafais Holding Co plummeted 19.95 with thin trading, the steepest decliner.
Zain advanced 3.38 pct to lead the telecommunication sector higher following rumors that Omantel was in talks to acquire a further 12 pct stake in the Kuwaiti firm. Kuwait Telecommunications Co (VIVA) advanced 7 fils and National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Ooredoo) shares closed flat at KD 1.170.
In the individual shares, United Projects Co dived 35 fils to close at KD 0.615 while ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance rose 10 fils on the back of 1.45 million shares. Kuwait and Middle East Financial Co jumped 6.13 pct whereas Kuwait Financial Center was up 5.77 pct and Wethaq Takaful Insurance Co followed suit with 5.32 pct rise.
ACICO Industries Co dropped 9 fils while Agility extended its losses with a drop of 4 fils to KD 0.901. Mabanee Co shed 3 fils and Kuwait Portland Cement Co did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.995. However, KAMCO was up 3 fils, Alimtiaz Investment Co fell 2 fils after trading over 6 million shares.
The market opened firm and inched lower in early trade. The main index continued to drift southwards amid speculation and selling and troughed at 6,651.03 points well past the mid-session before paring back some of the loses at close.
The banking sector saw modest gains as Gulf Bank rose 5 fils to KD 0.255 while Boubyan Bank and Burgan Bank advanced 2 fils each. Kuwait Finance House sank 1 fil and Ahli United Bank followed suit. Warba Bank was down 2 fils to KD 0.249 whereas National Bank of Kuwait stood pat at KD 0.789 on the back of 4.5 million shares. Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait closed flat while Kuwait International Bank dropped 1 fil after trading over 3 million shares.
The market was skewed towards the winner as 56 stocks advanced whereas 45 closed lower. Of the 132 counters active on Thursday, 31 closed flat. 6,618 deals worth KD 45.06 million were transacted, a 48.54 percent jump in value from the last session.
In the real estate sector, Sokouk Holding Co was up 2.25 pct on the back of 8 million shares while National Real Estate Co gained 1.47 pct to settle at 138 fils. Aqar Real Estate Investment Co sank 5.63 pct and Munshaat Real Estate Projects Co rose 2.97 pct after trading 11 million shares while Mabanee Co gave up 3 fils to stand at KD 0.802. United Real Estate Co and Abyaar Real Estate did not budge from their earlier close of 99 fils and 27 fils respectively.
Boubyan Petrochemicals Co advanced 2 fils and Qurain Petrochemicals Co stagnated at KD 0.337. National Industries Group eased 1fils while National Industries Co closed flat and National Cleaning Co followed suit. Noor Financial Investment fell 2.65 pct on the back of 1.5 million shares and ACICO Industries tumbled 9 fils.
Humansoft Co rose 10 fils to KD 4.100 while Combined Group Contracting Co followed suit. Privatization Holding Co fell 1.8 fils on the back of 7.5 million shares and Energy Holding Co was down by 1 fil. Gulf Petroleum Investment dipped 2.41 pct whereas Credit Rating & Collection slumped 5.17 pct to 27.5 fils.
Jazeera Airways Co lost 4 fils while Soor Fuel Marketing dipped 1 fil and AlRai Media was down by the same amount. KGL Logistics gave up 1.47 pct after trading over 5 million shares while Gulf Cement Co and Fujaira Cement Industries fell 1.82 pct and 1.89 pct respectively. Ras Al Khaimah Co dipped 3.61 pct and Egypt Kuwait Holding sank 2.27 pct. Gulf Finance Group stagnated at KD 0.130 after trading 2 million shares and Inovest added 1.72 pct.
The market has been mixed so far during the week. The main index has closed down in three sessions and tripped 17.62 points during the week. However, it has gained 15.9 percent year-to-date. KSE, with 188 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
By Iliasu Abubakari – Arab Times Staff