(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks headed higher Wednesday helped by renewed buying in select counters. The index, after a wobbly start, climbed 18.34 pts in lackluster trade to 7,767.83 pts. Most of the blue chips shined even as some of the mid and low caps sagged on profit taking. The KSX 15 measure rose 8.14 pts to 1,075.9 points taking the month's gains to 23 points while weighted index added 4.25 pts. The volume turnover meanwhile pulled lower after the two-day upswing. 412.84 million shares changed hands - a 20.12 percent fall from Tuesday. The sectors closed mixed. Banks outled the rest with 1.38 percent gain whereas insurance was down 0.77 percent - the biggest loser of the day. In terms of volume, financial services garnered the highest market share of 38.93 pct and real estate came in next clocking 33.09 pct. Industrials was distant third with 12.20 pct contribution.
Among notable gainers, Kuwait Food Co (Americana) rallied 40 fils to KD 2.500 more than recouping the loss in the previous session while United Projects Co partly pared Tuesday's loss with 20 fils gain. Mabanee Co rose 20 fils to KD 1.180 and City Group followed suit. Tamdeen Real Estate and Ajial Real Estate and Entertainment Co climbed 8 fils each while Hayat Communications Co closed 4 fils higher. Equipment Holding Co gained 10 fils on back of 6.5 million shares and Boubyan Petrochemical Co followed suit. Telecom major, Zain rose 20 fils to KD 0.670 with a volume of 7.75 million and Wataniya Telecom rallied 40 fils to extend the strong gains in the day before. Agility gave up 10 fils to settle at KD 0.650 and the stock has retreated 40 fils so far during the month.
The market opened weak and slipped briefly into the red in early trading. The index clawed back and moved sideways in the first half as investors toed caution. It edged higher past the mid-session to peak at 7,771.91 pts before slightly paring the gains at close. Top gainer of the day, Humansoft Holding Co rallied 8.87 pct to KD 0.270 and Equipment Holding came next with 6.49 pct rise. Al Masaken Real Estate International Co slid 7.46 percent, the steepest decliner of the day and Investors Holding Co continued to top the volume with over 71 million shares. Reflecting the day's gains, the winners vastly outled the losers. 57 stocks advanced whereas 37 closed lower. Of the 149 counters active on Wednesday, 55 closed flat. 7,171 deals worth KD 46.94 million were transacted - a 4.74 pct rise in value from the day before.
The investors remain wary of the market direction as the state's implementation of the big ticket infrastructure projects failed to meet the expectations.
"We expected the market sentiment to change in light of expectations of better earnings for the financial sector, which is the biggest sector, but investors are still not confident," Reuters quoted Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House earlier last week.
Contracting and Marine Services Co and Metal and Recycling took in 2 fils each while Kuwait Cement Co added 5 fils. The company has completed the 2nd phase of subscription in increasing its capital by 7%, which was fully covered. The company's capital after the increase stands at KD 73.330 million.
KGL Logistics Co held the ground flat at KD 0.186 off early highs and Kuwait Gulf Links ticked 2 fils higher. The company has incurred a net loss of KD 815,921 and loss per share of 3.09 fils in the first nine-months of 2013.
National Industries Group recovered slight early losses to close flat at KD 0.230 and Gulf Cable followed suit. The company has earned KD 9.06 million and clocked an earnings per share of 43 fils in the first nine-months of 2013 as compared with net profit of KD 10.54 million and earnings per share of 50 fils in the same period last year.
In the banking sector, Gulf Bank rose 5 fils to KD 0.370 while National Bank of Kuwait was flat after clocking a volume of 4.98 million. The bank has posted a net profit KD 238.13 million and earnings per share of 53 fils in the year ending Dec 31, 2013. The Board of Directors has recommended a 30 pct cash dividend plus 5 percent bonus shares.
Commercial Bank gained 20 fils whereas Al Ahli Bank closed flat at KD 0.430. Ahli United Bank climbed 10 fils to KD 0.720 and Kuwait International Bank added 5 fils recouping the loss in the day before.
Burgan Bank was unchanged at KD 0.560 off early lows while Kuwait Finance House followed suit to wind up at KD 0.800 and the stock hasn't budged from its start of the month level. Boubyan Bank rose 10 fils to KD 0.560.
Kuwait Investment Co rose 6 fils to KD 0.160 while International Financial Advisors edged 2 fils lower. National Investment Co took in 2 fils while KIPCO climbed 10 fils to KD 0.660 recouping the loss in the day before.
Securities Group Co slipped 4 fils to KD 0.114 and Al Mal Investment Co gave up 1 fil. Al Mal Investment gave up 1fil whereas Bayan Investment closed flat at 98 fils. Noor Financial Investment Co gained KD 0.124. Jazeera Airways stagnated at KD 0.500 and ALAFCO followed suit. IFA H & R paused at KD 0.280. The company has won the approval of Capital Markets Authority to buy back or sell up to 10% over a period of 6 months. Contracting and Marine Services slipped 10 fils. The bourse has charted a mixed course so far during the week and has eased 11 pts in last four sessions. The price index has rebounded 218 points so far during the month after dropping 185 points during whole of December. KSE, with 213 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region. In the bourse related news, Aqar Real Estate Investments Co has won the approval of Capital Markets Authority for the company's request to buy back or sell up to 6.35% of own shares over a period of 6 months.
Independent Petroleum Group has posted a net profit of KD 4.35 million in the first nine months of 2013 while earnings per share came in at 30.10 fils. This compares with KD 5.07 million net profit and earnings per share of 35.10 fils in the same period last year. Kuwait National Cinema has notched a net profit of KD 6.13 million earnings per share of 61.74 fils in the nine-month period ending September 2013, soaring from KD 4.73 million profit and earnings per share of 47.43 fils in the 9M period of 2012.
Automated Systems Co has earned KD 1.45 million in the nine-month period ending Sept 30, 2013 while earnings per share stood at 36.27 fils. This compares with KD 4.01 million net profit and 100.26 fils EPS in the same period last year.