(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stock went into a tailspin on Sunday extending last week's losses. The index tanked 165.3 points - the biggest single day slide since start of the year, as investors exited positions across the board amid bearish sentiments. The day's decline was led by select heavyweights and some of the Kharafi Group linked stocks. The bourse wound up at 6,394.20 points while the weighted index dipped 17.09 points to settle at 441.57 points. The volume turnover receded after swelling above the 200 million mark in the previous session.
175.58 million shares changed hands - down 12.3 percent from the Wednesday. Zain tumbled 100 fils, the biggest permitted single day fall, after stagnating in the last session. It closed at KD 1.280 and posted a volume of 5.92 million shares. Zain on Sunday rejected offers from Kingdom Holding, Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Al Riyadh Group for its 25 percent stake in Saudi unit. "The rejection of the Zain Saudi offers increases uncertainty, hence the nervousness among investors and Zain's share price falling," Reuters quoted Irfan Ellam, Vice President, and Al Mal Capital telecoms analyst.
National Bank of Kuwait dived 60 fils to settle at KD 1.320 and saw 5.04 million shares change hands. Kuwait Finance House was down 20 fils at KD 1.140 extending an identical fall in the earlier session and Gulf Bank followed suit to end at KD 0.500. The lender posted a volume turnover of 4.67 million shares.
Logistics major Agility eroded 25 fils to wind up at KD 0.385. The company has announced that it was won a six-month contract extension starting March 1, to provide warehouse management services to support operations of US defence in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The scrip had slid 60 fils during January and has shed 135 fils since start of the year.
Among other notable decliners, National Investment Co, a Kharafi Group unit, dropped 25 fils to KD 0.375. Industrial heavyweight National Industries Group dropped 25 fils to KD 0.290 after trading 2.5 million shares while Kuwait Pipes fell 10 fils. Gulf Cables slid 100 fils, extending the steep loss on Wednesday while Kuwait Portland Cement shed 80 fils. Kuwait Foundry Co dived 50 fils to KD 0.730 with thin trading.
The market opened weak and went into a downward spiral in early trade as panic gripped the trading floor in wake of the adverse Zain developments and regional unrest. The index continued to erode at a slower clip in the second half amid bearish sentiments and bottomed at 6366 points in the final minutes. However an uptick in bargain buying helped pare the losses at close.
"There is definitely some panic as you can see in the markets today," Reuters quoted M.R. Raghu senior vice president for research at Markaz in Kuwait.
"The negative aspect of this depends on how quickly it will spread. The amount of uprising we are seeing in the Middle East is a serious concern for foreign investors. They are likely to pull more money from the markets to be on the safer side," he added
The top gainer of the day, Ajwan Gulf Real Estate Co spiked 10 percent to KD 0.055 while Dar Al Thuraya Real Estate Co climbed 6.41 percent to stand next. Safat Real Estate Co slid 11.36 percent, the biggest decliner of the day, while ALAFCO topped the volume with 29.86 million shares changing hands.
Reflecting the day's slide, the losers vastly outnumbered the gainers. 3 stocks advanced while 94 closed lower. Of the 110 counters active on Sunday, 6 closed unchanged. 3090 deals worth KD 52.35 million were transacted - a 20.5 percent rise in value over previous session.
The sectoral indices all closed in the red. Banking sector and investment sector slid 2.5 percent each while insurance eased 0.2 percent. Real estate dived 3.1 percent, the biggest loser of the day, while industrials shed 2.8 percent. Services and food sectors eroded 2.5 percent and 2.1 percent respectively while non-Kuwaiti closed 2.7 percent lower.
The bourse had been wobbly during last week. It closed lower in all the four trading days knocking off 179 points week-on-week. It has tumbled 465 points since start of the month and has dropped 8 percent year-to-date. KSE, with 215 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.
In the banking sector, Burgan Bank inched 2 fils lower to KD 0.510 after trading 2.75 million shares while Al Ahli Bank held the ground unchanged at KD 0.670 paring losses earlier in the session. Ahli United Bank dropped 30 fils to KD 0.790 whereas Commercial Bank of Kuwait was not traded during the day.
Investment major KIPCO dropped 20 fils to settle at KD 0.400 while Kuwait Financial Centre slipped 8 fils. Aref Investment Group dropped 5 fils and Al Maal Investment was down 6 fils at KD 0.096.
International Financial Advisors closed 5 fils lower at KD 0.055 after trading 5.76 million shares. IFA has obtained the approval of Central Bank of Kuwait on February 9, 2011 to purchase or sell up to 10 percent of own issued shares.
National Real Estate Co and Tamdeen Real Estate lost 8 fils and 10 fils respectively while Mabanee Co dived 40 fils. United Real Estate Co eased 4 fils to KD 0.086. UREC has earned KD 1,308,860 in 2010 while earnings per share clocked 7.04 fils. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of: cash 7 percent.
Kuwait Gulf Links and Aref Energy Holding Co slipped 10 fils each while KGL Logistics Company dropped 20 fils. Future Communication Co shed 25 fils to end at KD 0.325. FCC has posted a net profit of KD 3,215,611 and earnings per share of 39.68 fils in full year 2010. The Board of Directors recommended a cash dividend of 25. Kuwait Food Co ( Americana) slid 60 fils adding to the loss in the last session.
Meanwhile, Kuwait Stock Exchange has suspended the following companies from trading for failing to publish the financial results within the stipulated time period: Al Safat Global Holding Company, Al Dar Investment Company, International Leasing and Investment Company, Villa Moda Lifestyle Company, International Investment Group, Network Holding Company, Securities House Company, Gulf International Investment Company, International Investor Company, Aayan Leasing and Investment Company, Al Dar National Real Estate Company and Educational Group Holding Company.
In the bourse related news, Abyaar Real Estate Development Co incurred a net loss of KD 4,996,913. Loss per share 4.77 fils in full year 2010 as against net loss of KD 29,247,558 and loss per share last of 37.26 in the year before. The Board of Directors recommended no dividend payout for the Fiscal Year
MENA Real Estate Co has logged a net loss of KD 634,612 and loss per share of 3.26 fils in the nine-month period ended December 31, 2010 as compared to net profit of KD 628,154 and earnings per share of 3.21 fils.
Al-Safat Investment Co. has incurred a net loss of KD 5,003,611 and loss per share of 6.48 fils for the nine months ended on September 30 as against a net loss of KD 6,747,994 and loss per share of 8.74 fils.
By: John Mathews