(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks slipped further on Wednesday, as moderate profit taking hit the middle levels stocks and select blue chips. The index pulled 8.8 points lower, extending its losses to the third consecutive session.
Zain and Wataniya Telecom paced the decline, falling 1.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. The bourse closed 0.1 percent lower at 7891.2 points amid a decline in volume turnover. The weighted index fell 0.31 points to 7891.2 points.
Zain ended at KD 1.240 on volume of 9.4 million shares. It has surged over 40 percent over the past six weeks on expectations of the telecom service provider's stake sale. India's Reliance Communications has reportedly started talks to buy Zain's African operations.
The assets could fetch a price of about 10 billion, according to media reports, despite the fact that seven out of Zain's 16 African operations made a first-quarter net loss, showing the value of the world's last under-penetrated market.
Wataniya closed at KD 1.640 after closing flat on Tuesday. Amoung other frontline stocks, Agility was stagnant at KD 1.240 with volume turnover of over 5 million shares. It had climbed 9.4 percent in July and is trading over 85 percent higher from its 2008 close. National Industries Group fell 5 fils to KD 0.460 with over 4.4 million shares changing hands during the session.
The market had been downbeat so far in the week after ending the earlier one with moderate gains. The investors appears clueless about the market direction and are waiting on the sidelines for firmer cues to emerge. It had slid 60 points in the last three days but is up 3.3 percent from start of the month. It had rallied strongly in April and May, but slipped into doldrums in the middle of June as investor sentiments were battered by weak earnings and sliding oil prices besides other factors.
The other notable losers where Contracting and Marine Services Co which shed 50 fils and Kuwait Portland Cement closing 20 fils lower at KD 0.850. Mena Holding Co climbed 20 fils, bucking the market trend. Gulf Cables stagnated at KD 1.920 after posting a breath taking rally for the whole of last week.
The banking stocks closed mixed after trading subdued in the earlier two sessions. National Bank of Kuwait rose 20 fils to KD 1.220 after stagnating on Tuesday while Gulf Bank added 10 fils, partly recouping the drop in the previous day. It closed at KD 0.315 and posted a volume turnover of 1.8 million shares. Commercial Bank and Al Ahli Bank were not traded during the session while Bank of Kuwait and Middle East edged 5 fils lower to KD 0.485 on thin volume turnover.
Burgan Bank took in 5 fils to wind up at KD 0.375 after ending flat on Tuesday, while Kuwait Finance House climbed 20 fils to KD 1.260 on back of 6.2 million shares. The stock had gained 3.3 percent in July and is trading up 2 percent year-to-date.
In the bourse related news, Al Mazaya Holding Company's second quarter net profit reached KD 4,852,252 and earnings per share was 10.78 fils compared to KD 12,981,210 and earnings per share of 29.18 fils for the same period in 2008. The half yearly net profit reached stood at KD 9,903,078 and earnings per share of 22 fils.
Alargan International Real Estate Company has announced its second quarter net profit of KD 779,135 and earnings per share of 3.04 fils compared to a net profit of KD 3,455,395 and earnings per share of 13.04 fils for the same period in 2008. The company's first half net profit stood at KD 1,589,696 and earnings per share was 6.20 fils.
The investment stocks closed mostly lower. International Financial Advisers rose 5 fils to KD 0.490 while National Investment Company dropped 10 fils to KD 0.500 erasing an identical gain on Tuesday. KIPCO sagged 10 fils to wind up at KD 0.510 whereas Kuwait and Middle East Financial Investment Co was not traded during the day. International Investment Group did not move in either direction while while Aayan Leasing and Investment Company edged 2 fils lower to KD 0.102.
Bayan Investment Co closed unchanged at KD 0.126 with a volume turnover of 10.2 million shares while Global Investment House edged 2 fils lower to KD 0.116. Osoul Leasing and Financing Co too was down 2 fils at close while National International Holding Co climbed 10 at close.
Kuwait National Cinema Company has posted a net profit of KD 996,632 in the second quarter with earnings per share of 9.97 fils. In the six-month period ended 06/30/2009 the net profit stood at KD 1,572,984 and earnings per share was 15.74 fils compared to KD 9,817,949. Al Soor Fuel Marketing Company has notched a second quarter net profit of KD 1,800,559 and earnings per share of 6.01 fils while in the first half period, the net profit read KD 2,324,525 and earnings per share stood at 7.75 fils.
Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait has posted a second quarter net profit of KD 7.989 million and earnings per share of 9 fils compared with KD 9.298 million and earnings per share of 11 fils for the same period in 2008. In the six month period ending 30/6/2009 the lender posted a profit of KD 17.128 million and earnings per share of 20 fils.
Al Madar Finance and Investment Co closed flat at KD 0.070 with thin volume while Noor Financial Investment Co did not budge from its earlier close of KD 0.112.
Kuwait has posted a budget surplus of KD 2.74 billion for the fiscal year ended March 2009 on higher than forecast oil revenues, official data showed. Revenues were a little over KD 21 billion in the year to March 31, while expenditure was KD 18.26 billion . Revenues were substantially above a budget forecast of KD 12.68 billion. Oil revenues were KD 19.7 billion, up 69.2 percent from an KD 11.65 billion earlier forecast.
The state has assumed its crude, the country's main revenue earner, would fetch an average of 50 a barrel in the year to end-March. Kuwait invests 10 percent of its revenues in a fund for future generations, which is managed by the state-run Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA). After the allocation, the surplus amounts to KD 2.47 billion, the data shows.
The sectoral indices swung in both directions. Banking sector was up 0.7 percent helped by modest gains by National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House while investment sector fell 0.2 percent weighed by marginal fall in some of the large caps. The two sectors makes for the bulk of the shares traded in the bourse.
Real estate shed 0.6 percent led by Mabanee Co which lost 10 fils with volume turnover of KD 0.730. Industrials edged 0.2 percent lower led by some of the mid prices stocks which were dragged by profit taking after the strong gains earlier in the week. Insurance sector rose 0.6 percent.
Services sector lost 0.3 percent led by Wataniya Telecom and Zain while food sector was unchanged. Non-Kuwaitis inched 0.1 percent higher at close.
By John Mathews