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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 02/08/2009

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) advanced last week driven by rising share prices of a number of heavyweight stocks, most significantly those of Arab Bank and Arab Potash which went up by 2.4 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.

The general index closed at 2,618.8 points, an increase of 1.3 per cent over its closing level in the previous week.

We expect investors to start building new positions in the shares of companies that announced strong semiannual results. However, the market might still be subject to some volatility as a result of profit-taking activities on several speculative stocks that witnessed substantial price increases in the past few weeks.

All sectors advanced led by industrial index which gained 2.1 per cent.

As for trading activity, 83.5 million shares exchanged hands leaving gains at 77 firms and losses at 100 companies out of 194 traded corporations.

In terms of value traded by sector, the diversified financial services came in first place accounting for 26.2 per cent of the total followed by the services sector with 22.3 per cent and then the real estate sector which accounted for 21.5 per cent of the total value traded.

The most actively traded shares last week were those of Amwal Invest, Al Ahlia Enterprises, and United Arab Investors with a combined value traded of JD24.6 million accounting for 20.2 per cent of total value traded.

Bank of Jordan announced a profit of JD14.6 million during the first half of this year compared to JD15.2 million during same period last year.

Midyear net profit of Jordan Investment & Finance Bank fell by 47 per cent to JD1.31 million compared to JD2.48 million at the end of June 2008.

Arab Banking Corporation posted JD5.1 million net profit during the first six months of this year, 26.1 per cent lower than the JD6.87 million recorded during the same period last year.

Jordan Electric Power posted a net loss of JD0.4 million at the end of June 2009, compared to a profit of JD2.6 million at the end of June 2008.

Jordan Lafarge Cement Factories increased midyear net profit to JD35.1 million, 34.2 per cent higher than the JD26.2 million during the January-June period of 2008.

Jordan Telecom reported a net income of JD50.8 million during the first six months of this year compared to JD52.08 million during same period of last year.

Net income of Jordan Press Foundation dropped to JD2.4 million at the end of June 2009 compared to JD4.2 million at the end of June 2008.

Data issued by the Department of Statistics (DoS) showed that the average wholesale trade general price index rose by 2.6 per cent during the first half of 2009 compared to the same period last year. The data also showed a 0.7 per cent drop in the index during the second quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2009.

According to data issued by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), the Kingdom's gross income from tourism rose by 2 per cent to JD847 million during the first six months of this year compared to JD831 million during the same period last year.

The DoS indicated that jobs created by the Jordanian economy in 2008 reached 65,000 jobs compared to 70,000 jobs in 2007.
CBJ statistics pointed out that the Kingdom's earnings from exports to Syria dropped by 10.8 per cent during the first five months of 2009 compared to the same period last year.


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