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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 28/06/2009

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The general index of Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) regressed for the third week in a row affected by falling share prices of a number of strategic companies, most significantly those of Arab Bank and mining companies.

Prices of Arab Bank shares dropped by 6.55 per cent last week affected by heavy selling pressures in the final few days following news of its exposure to the Saudi Sa'ed and Qusaibi groups.

The ASE index dropped by 3.99 per cent closing last week at 2,716.4 points amid notably lower trading volumes.

We expect a wait-and-see attitude in the bourse as investors seek further clarity concerning the negative news which affected a number of strategic companies in the past few weeks.

All sectors recorded losses, the largest of which was the industrial index that declined by 7.9 per cent.

As for the trading activity, 99.4 million shares exchanged hands leaving losses at 145 companies and gains at 42 firms out of 203 corporations whose shares were traded.

In terms of the value traded by sector, real estate came in first place accounting for 24.1 per cent of the total followed by the diversified financial services sector with 19.9 per cent and then the services which accounted for 18.5 per cent of the total value traded last week.

The most actively traded shares were those of United Arab Investors, Capital Bank of Jordan and Al Tajamouat Catering & Housing Services with a combined value traded of JD25.7 million accounting for 12.1 per cent of the week's total value traded.

Two block deal were executed on the shares of International Brokerage & Financial Markets and Ready Mix Concrete with transaction values of JD0.5 million and JD0.6 million respectively.

The ASE announced the listing of new shares in the paid-up capital of Jordan Electric Power, Cairo Amman Bank and Union Bank on Sunday, June 28/2009 with a reference price of JD3.23, JD1.93 and JD2.72 respectively.

The minister of industry and trade approved increasing the paid-up capital of Investment & Integrated Industries from JD7 million to JD11 million through a private placement to the company's existing shareholders.

The general assembly of Jordan Real Estate Company for Development approved the board of directors' recommendation to distribute a 15 per cent stock dividend to the company's shareholders through the capitalisation of JD4.5 million from retained earnings.

Data issued by the Department of Statistics (DoS) showed that the gross domestic product at fixed prices grew by 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 from its level in the same period of 2008.

DoS figures also showed that unemployment in the second quarter of 2009 edged up to 13 per cent, 0.5 per cent higher than its level in the same period last year.

A report issued by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation indicated that foreign grants increased by 53 per cent in 2008 over levels in 2007.

Jordan's tourism income rose in 2008 to JD356.4 million compared to JD347.7 million in 2007 despite a drop in the number of visiting tourists.

National exports to Iraq went up to JD572.6 million during 2008, JD52.2 million higher than the previous year.


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