(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Higher share prices of several strategic companies, particularly Arab Potash Company, Jordanian Phosphate Mines Company, Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company and Jordan Telecom, drove up the general index of Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) by 1.4 per cent closing last week at 2,630.73 points.
The sessions were marked by improving volumes as a result of increasing trading activity on some speculative stocks.
We anticipate demand to rise on speculative stocks this week, with a chance for recovery in the share prices of some leading companies which severely dropped in the past few weeks.
All sector indices advanced last week except the banking and insurance sectors which regressed by 1.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively. The index of diversified financial services topped the list of growth with a 7.4 per cent increase.
As for trading activity, 177.3 million shares exchanged hands. leaving gains at 102 firms and losses at 81 entities out of 203 corporations.
Real estate came in first place as it accounted for 48.8 per cent of the total value traded followed by the diversified financial services sector with 14.8 per cent and then the services which accounted for 11.6 per cent of the value traded last week.
The most actively traded shares were those of Ad Dulayl Industrial Park, Taameer Jordan Holdings, and South Electronics Company with a combined value traded of JD73.7 million accounting for 23.8 per cent of the total value traded.
Two block deals were executed on the shares of Union Investment Corporation and Transport and Investment Barter Company with transaction values of JD0.5 million for each.
The general assembly of Jordan Insurance approved the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders at a rate of 12.5 per cent.
The board of directors of Arab Orient Insurance recommended to the general assembly increasing the company's paid-up capital from JD11 million to JD13 million through the distribution of JD2 million, or 18.2 per cent stock dividends.
The board of directors of Darweesh Khalili and Sons recommended to the general assembly the distribution of JD2.4 million in cash dividends to shareholders at a rate of 20 per cent.
The ASE announced listing 18 million shares of Masaken for Real Estate Development in the second market as of March 23, 2009.
The general assembly of the Arabian Steel Pipes Manufacturing decided to distribute 25 per cent cash dividends to shareholders.
According to data issued by the Department of Statistics, the trade deficit narrowed by 33.2 per cent last January to JD374.3 million compared to JD560.3 million during the same period last year. Moreover, Jordan's imports of crude oil declined by 51.6 per cent in January 2009 to JD91.7 million compared to JD189.4 million during the same period last year.
Jordan's exports to the Great Arab Free Trade Agreement countries increased during January 2009 to JD145 million compared to JD120.7 million during the same period of last year.
Domestic revenues and foreign grants rose by 19.3 per cent to JD766.8 million in 2008. The external public debt contracted by JD2.4 million during the same period.
According to a data issued by the Ministry of Finance, Jordan's public debt rose by 2.8 per cent to JD8.43 billion in 2008 from the level registered at the end of 2007. The domestic and external public debt represented 60.8 per cent of the estimated gross domestic product for 2008 compared to 70.0 per cent in the previous year.