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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 04/02/2007

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) index was able to maintain its level above the 6000-point barrier last week amid positive preliminary results from public shareholding companies, in addition to the increase in the share price of heavyweight Arab Bank.

The index finished its weekly session at 6254.0 points, an increase of 2.03 per cent. Market capitalisation stood at JD23.8 billion.

On the trading floor, the average daily trading volume increased by 21.75 per cent to 58.253 million. Overall, advancers outnumbered decliners as 104 companies out of 175 advanced, while 58 companies declined.

In the banking sector, the Arab Bank Group announced pre-tax profit of 790 million for the year 2006. The net profit of Jordan branches reached JD263.3 million in 2006, a growth of 63.6 per cent.

Arab Bank's board of directors announced its intention to recommend to the extraordinary general assembly the distribution of 25 per cent cash dividends. The bank's share price finished the week at JD26.05, up by 3.25 per cent.

The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance achieved a growth of 24 per cent in pre-tax profit, reaching JD 130.1 million last year, an increase of JD25 million from the 2005 level. The bank's board of directors revealed its intent to propose the distribution of 26 per cent as cash dividends to its shareholders.

Jordan Kuwait Bank's net income reached JD39.1 million in 2006, an increase of 53.4 per cent from the JD25.2 million achieved a year earlier. More than 71.7 of the bank's total earnings were derived from interest income.

The board of directors of Jordan Kuwait Bank is proposing the distribution of 20 per cent of the bank's JD75 million capital as cash dividends. The net income of the bank came in line with Capitalinvestments JD40.76 million forecast for 2006.

In the insurance sector, Jordan International Insurance announced a drop of 36.4 per cent in net profit to JD3.5 million last year, compared to JD5.5 million achieved in 2005. The company's share price finished the week at JD2.07, up by 1.97 per cent.

Middle East Insurance and Cairo Amman Bank signed a memorandum of understanding to provide Bankassurance services.

In the services sector, Al Ammal Financial Investment Company's net profit reached JD2.28 million last year, an increase of 30 per cent from the 2005 level. The company's board of directors is suggesting the distribution of 20 per cent of the company's 7.5 million capital, as cash dividends.

The board of directors of the Jordan Press Foundation will recommend the distribution of 60 per cent, as cash dividends, of the company's JD7.5 million capital. The share price of Jordan Press closed the week at JD12.29, up by 7.81 per cent.

Jordan Press and Publishing Company announced profits exceeding JD1 million. The company's board of directors will recommend the distribution of cash dividends equivalent to 15 per cent of the company's JD4 million capital.

As for the industrial sector, Union Tobacco and Cigarettes Industries announced net profit of JD7.2 million and the board will propose the distribution of JD6 million as cash dividends, equivalent to 40 per cent of the company's paid-up capital.

The board of Union Advanced Industries plans to distribute 20 per cent as cash dividends in addition to a JD1 million increase in the company's capital, to reach JD4 million, through a private subscription to existing shareholders at a price of JD2 per share. The company's profits reached JD1.38 million in 2006, an increase of 24.4 per cent from the JD1.14 million achieved a year earlier. This leads to earnings per share of JD0.46 in 2006 compared to a JD0.38 in 2005.

Jordan Steel revealed an increase of 31.76 per cent in last year's net profit which reached JD3.91 million compared to JD2.97 million achieved in 2005. The company's net income came exceptionally close to Capitalinvestments forecast of JD3.92 million for 2006.



 






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