(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks covered further ground on Wednesday, after posting modest gains in the previous session. The index climbed 25.3 points led by select lenders and some of the mid-priced stocks while blue chips remained mostly muted. The trading floor sentiment was cautiously positive amid the political unrest even as investors await fresh cues. The bourse wound up shy of the 7000 mark at 6999.40 points retreating from higher gains earlier in the session. The volume turnover edged marginally up adding to the rise in the last two sessions. 284.37 million shares changed hands " a 1.1 percent increase from Tuesday. It had plunged to a multi-year low of 63.54 million on Dec 12 and has been largely anemic in the recent weeks.
The prominent gainers include Kuwait Finance House which added 20 fils extending an identical rise in the previous session. It wound up at KD 1.240 and posted volume turnover of 6.36 million shares. Commercial Bank too climbed 20 fils to settle at KD 0.940 after stagnating on Tuesday.
Telecom heavyweight Zain held the ground unchanged after closing lower in the day before. It closed at KD 1.480 after trading 1.56 million shares and the stocks capitalization accounted for 17.42 percent of the whole market on Wednesday. A Kuwaiti court in the last week of December had dismissed a lawsuit from Al Fawares Holding, a Zain shareholder with 4.5 percent stake.
Agility too was unchanged at KD 0.510 with a volume turnover of 1.74 million whereas Wataniya Telecom was up 20 fils reversing the drop in the previous session. The scrip had risen 2.15 percent during December and had rallied 460 fils during whole of 2010.
Among other gainers, Kuwait Projects Co Holding ( KIPCO) rose 10 fils to settle at KD 0.450 while Kharafi Group unit National Investment Co was steady at KD 0.450 after vacillating in a narrow range. The counter saw 1.48 million shares change hands.
Safwan Trading and Contracting Co was up 10 fils and Combined Group Contracting Co jumped 40 fils. Aref Energy crept 4 fils higher after posting modest loss on Wednesday. Aref has posted a net loss of KD 41,721,582 and loss per share of 39 fils in the nine-month period ending Sept 30.
National Industries Group edged 5 fils up to KD 0.370 after trading 6.05 million shares whereas Kuwait Pipes closed flat. Kuwait Foundry Co gained 10 fils with thin volume and United Industries Co followed suit.
The bourse opened on positive note and rose steadily in early trade as investors picked up select stocks. The index rose past 7,000 mark and peaked at 7,004.8 points amid positive sentiments and moved sideways thereafter as trading floor mood turned brittle. It eased slightly at close to edged below the 7,000 mark on moderate profit booking.
Banks are doing well as its the earnings seasons and there is a lot of dividend speculation, Reuters quoted a Kuwaiti trader who did not want to be named. Local investors have stepped in and are backing banks, which is a good sign.
The top gainer of the day, Injazzat Real Estate Co spiked 8.9 percent to KD 0.122 while Investors Holding Group climbed 7.8 percent to stand next. Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co slid 10.52 percent - the steepest decliner of the day, while Investors Holding Group also topped the volume with 36.16 million shares changing hands.
Mirroring the days advance, the winners outnumbered the losers. 53 stocks advanced while 32 closed lower. Of the 119 counters active on Wednesday, 33 closed flat. 4475 deals worth KD 47.29 million were transacted " down 15.9 percent in value over previous session.
The sectoral indices closed mostly higher. Banking sector rose 0.7 percent while investment added 0.9 percent.
Real estate edged 0.2 percent up and industrials was up 0.4 percent. Services rose 0.2 percent whereas food shed 0.5 percent " the worst performer of the day. Non-Kuwaitis crept 0.2 percent higher.
The bourse had been mixed so far during the week and has added 36 points from Sundays opening level. It had climbed 88 points during December and is up 1 percent year-to-date. KSE, with 209 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
In the banking sector, National Bank of Kuwait was flat at KD 1.460 after posting modest rise in the day before. The lenders Chief Executive Officer has stated that the year 2010 was exceptional for the bank and expected earnings to exceed 1 billion following an increase of over 11% in the first nine months to around 790 million.
Gulf Bank too was stagnant at KD 0.580 with a volume of 1.06 million whereas Al Ahli Bank ended unchanged at KD 0.710. ABK has won the Central Bank of Kuwaits approval for its extension request to buy back or sell up to 10% of its issued shares over a six-month period which ended on June 12, 2010. Burgan Bank rose 10 fils on back of 4.19 million shares.
In the investment sector, Al Maal was steady at KD 0.118 while Global Investment House inched 1 fils higher. Global The company has announced settlement of 27 million of the original loan due to creditor banks on December 13, 2010 taking the total amounts settled of principal loan since signing rescheduling agreement to 178.3 million.
In the bourse related news, Noor Financial Investment Co has posted a net loss of KD 24,574,600 in the nine " months period ended on Sept 30 and the loss per share chalked 32 fils. This compares with a net loss of KD 11,972,406 and loss per share of 16.07 fils in the same period last year.
Kuwait Foundry Company has notched a n et profit of KD 4,359,625 and earnings per share of 36.02 fils in the first three quarters of 2010 ending Sep 30 while in the corresponding year last year, the net amounted to KD 6,773,842 and earnings per share read 55.96 fils.
Al Safat Real Estate Co has logged a net loss of KD 745,249 and loss per share of 3.11 fils for the nine months ended on Sep 30. This compares with net loss of KD 3,101,186 and loss per share of 12.92 fils in the same period last year.
International Financial Advisors Co has posted a net loss of KD 14,977,818 and loss per share of 22.89 fils in the nine months ended on September 30 as against net loss of KD 14,977,818 and loss per share of 22.89 fils in the same period last year.
Ahli United Bank has posted a net profit of KD 57,997,907 and an earning per share of 11.8 fils nine months ending Sept 30, 2010 as compared to profit of KD 52,979,859 and earnings per share of 10.9 fils during the same period last year.
Gulf Cement Company announced its results for first the nine months of the year. The net profit clocked KD 5,340,052 while earnings per share stood at 7 fils. In same period last year, the net profit totaled KD 8,375,803 while earnings per share worked out at 10 fils.
By John Mathews