Kuwait stocks edge lower

KUWAIT: Most Gulf share markets dropped for the second straight day yesterday as a strong rebound in Asian stocks failed to offset anxieties about the regional economy. Only the Omani market was up slightly, while the other five bourses dipped as investors appeared to take the view that the global crisis may have a deeper impact on the oil-rich Gulf states than initially thought. Furthermore, the meeting, which was attended by the finance and commerce ministers and governor of the Central Bank, was informed that Kuwaiti foreign investments have been affected by the global crisis. Secretary of the financial committee MP Ahmad Lari said “the impact on our investments has been less than others”. He also added that the Central Bank has already pumped funds into the banks and made some deposits in order to help them cope with the crisis. Global General Index (GGI) ended the session down by 4.05 points (-1.62 percent) to close at 246.33 points. The Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index dropped 148.10 points (-1.57 percent), to close at 9,256.30 points. Market capitalization went down by 1.62 percent to reach KD39.53bn during the day. During yesterday’s session, market breadth was skewed toward decliners as 95 stocks retreated, while 22 gained and 83 stocks remained unchanged. A total of 131 stocks were traded yesterday. Volume and value of shares traded on the exchange ended the day on a negative note, as investors exchanged 130.08mn shares (-14.47 percent), at a total traded value of KD51.08mn (-17.03 percent). The Investment Sector was the volume leader, accounting for 27.81 percent (36.18mn) of total volume. This was due to Ekttitab Holding Company which has been the volume leader for two days in a row with 12.16mn shares exchanged. The stock ended the day up by 5.10 percent at 93fils. Furthermore, Banking Sector was the value leader with a total traded value of KD20.42mn. The sector was backed by Kuwait Finance House which has been also was the value leader for two days in a row with a total traded value of KD11.68mn. In addition, the scrip was unchanged for the day to stay at KD1.640. It is worth mentioning that Global Banking Sector has decreased by 29.28 percent since the beginning of the year. Moreover, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Sheikh Salem Abdulaziz Al-Sabah said yesterday that all indicators showed that Kuwait’s banking sector enjoyed high profitability, abundant liquidity and sound solvency. On the other hand, total transactions for the day decreased by 19.09 percent to reach 3,273 deals. Hits Telecom Holding was the top gainer for the day, adding 7.14 percent to close at 375fils. On the other side, National Industries Company for Building Materials was the biggest loser, as its share price declined by 10.39 percent to close at 345fils. Sector-wise, all the indices went down yesterday, except for Global Insurance Index adding 0.15 percent to close at 61.07 points. It is worth mentioning that Wethaq Takaful Insurance was the only gainer in the sector, which increased by 4.35 percent to clos e at 144fils. On the other side, Global Real Estate Index was the top decliner for the day shedding 3.85 percent to reach 91.84 points. The index’s drop was caused by heavyweights Al-Mazaya Holding Company and Mabanee Company dropping 8.33 and 6.33 percent, respectively. Global Industrial Index was the second biggest decliner shedding 3.38 percent to reach 236.30 points. This was a result of National Industries Group (Holding) which decreased by 6.73 percent to close at 485fils. During today’s session, all the Global Special indices ended the day on a negative note, with Global High Yield Index being the biggest decliner shedding 2.95 percent to close at 226.81 points. Global Islamic Index was next, dropping 1.98 percent to close at 851.34 points. kuwaittimes.net

Par La Rando MIDDLE EAST