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MENAFN - Arab Times - 22/02/2011

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks saw a modest rebound on Monday, stemming the 7-day decline. The index clawed 31.8 points up in volatile trade buoyed by renewed buying in select blue chips and industrial mid-caps. However Wataniya Telecom and some of the Kharafi Group stocks continued to erode. The bourse had posted the year's biggest drop on Sunday as investors turned jittery after the Zain's move to reject the offers for Saudi operations and the growing unrest in the region.

The market wound up at 6,426 points trimming higher gains earlier in the session while the weighted index climbed 3.75 points to settle at 445.32. The volume meanwhile ramped up again after falling below the 200 million mark on Sunday.

213.08 million shares changed hands - a 21.4 percent surge from the previous day. The volume has been thin since the start of the month and had slipped thrice below the 100 million level. National Bank of Kuwait rose 20 fils on back of 3.91 million shares partly recouping the steep losses in the day before. It ended at KD 1.340 paring higher gains intra-day. Kuwait Finance House too was up 20 fils at KD 1.160 and saw 2.45 million shares change hands. The Islamic lender had climbed 5.17 percent in January and is unchanged fromm the start of the year mark.

Among other notable gainers, Zain rose 20 fils on back of 1.39 million shares after falling sharply on Sunday. The telecom service provider has rejected offers from Kingdom Holding, Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Al Riyadh Group for its 25 percent stake in Saudi unit. Meanwhile, Kharafi group, a major Zain stake holder, stated that it would not allow Etisalat to extend due diligence beyond the end of February.

"At present, there is uncertainty as to what will happen with Zain Saudi and that's the key," Reuters quoted Irfan Ellam, Vice President, and Al Mal Capital telecoms analyst.

"The bulk of Etisalat's due diligence of Zain is probably completed and every day that passed without any negative news increased the probability the deal would go through, so it's surprising that Zain won't extend beyond February, " he added. Wataniya Telecom shed 40 fils adding to the loss in the day before and closed at KD 1.780 while Agility edged 5 fils lower. The company has announced that it has 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.

Gulf Cables spiked 80 fils, pulling up from the steep drop in the previous session and wound up at KD 1.640 and Kuwait Portland Cement gained 40 fils to end at KD 1.720. National Industries Group was up 5 fils at KD 0.295 with a volume turnover of 3.8 million shares. The stock was stagnant during January and has eroded 50 fils since start of the year.

On the downside, National Investment Co, a Kharafi Group unit, slid 25 fils extending the earlier losses whereas Kuwait Food Co ( Americana) rose 20 fils to settle at KD 0.280. KIPCO held the ground unchanged at KD 0.400 after vacillating in the narrow range while Global Investment House inched 0.5 fils lower.

The market opened wobbly and climbed briefly in early trade. The index however slipped back and rose gradually thereafter as buying picked up in select counters. It crested at 6428.7 points but eased slightly in the final minutes to wind up with modest gains.

The top gainer of the day, National Ranges Co (Mayadeen ) soared 13.15 percent to KD 0.021 while Mushrif Trading and Contracting Co climbed 9.4 percent to stand next. Pearl of Kuwait Real Estate Co slid 8.7 percent, the steepest decliner of the day, while ERSCO topped the volume with 26.32 million shares changing hands.

Reflecting the day's rebound the market spread was skewed towards the gainers. 59 stocks advanced while 30 closed lower. Of the 109 counters active on Monday, 13 closed unchanged. 3403 deals worth KD 33.84 million were transacted - a 10.1 percent rise in value over previous session.

The sectoral indices ended narrowly mixed. Banking sector rose 0.8 percent while investment eased 0.1 percent. Insurance dropped 1.1 percent, the worst performer of the day, while real estate outshined the peers with 1.1 percent gain. Industrials added 0.5 percent while services rose 0.9 percent. Food sector eroded 0.9 percent and non-Kuwaiti gained 0.6 percent.

The bourse had been wobbly so far during the week and has shed 133 points since Sunday's opening mark. It has slid 433 points since start of the month and is down 8 percent year-to-date. KSE, with 215 listed companies, is the second largest bourse in the region.

In the banking sector, Gulf Bank rose 10 fils to close at KD 0.510 on back of 4.4 million shares while Commercial Bank closed flat at KD 0.930. Burgan Bank too did not budge from its earlier close while Boubyan Bank was up 10 fils at KD 0.590.

Boubyan Bank held the ground unchanged at KD 0.600. The bank has posted a net profit of KD 6.1 million during 2010 while the general and precautionary provisions totaled KD 12.7 million.

Kuwait Gulf Links eased 4 fils to settle at KD 0.132 while ALAFCO rose 10 fils to end at KD 0.360. The company has earned KD 21.8 million during October-December quarter - a ten fold increase from same period last year.

Meanwhile, Kuwait Stock Exchange earlier in the month had 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


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